New Houston to Puerto Rico U.S.-flag service to debut

Written by Nick Blenkey

pha sealMAY 20, 2013 —The Port of Houston Authority reports that a new all-water service connecting Houston with San Juan, Puerto Rico, will launch May 29 when the 1988-built U.S.-flagged containership National Glory departs the Port of Houston Authority’s Jacintoport terminal on its maiden voyage on the route.

The new 14-day service, which is being provided by National Shippers of America (NSA), is called “Isla Verde Express” and will provide customers with more transit options and supply chain flexibility in this “under-served” market, NSA officials say.

According to the Equasis date base, the ISM manager for the National Glory is Crowley Technical Management, Jacksonville FL and the ship manager is APL Ltd., Scottsdale AZ. The registered owner is R&D INvestments Inc., whose address is given as “care of APL Ltd.”

“After careful market analysis, we found that shippers west of the Mississippi River have few options to move cargo to and from Puerto Rico without having to use an East Coast port,” said Torey Presti, NSA president. “A significant percentage of the mainland-Puerto Rico cargo is from Texas and the western states. By calling Houston, the service will offer a central U.S. location, which together with synchronized intermodal connections, enhances the options for shippers and keeps their supply chains predictable and steady.”

In addition to its centralized location, Jacintoport provides a broad range of intermodal, warehousing and logistics support. The terminal will provide direct rail connections, warehouse and terminal services to NSA.

Value-added services include warehousing, crossdocking, transloading and bagging. Cargo will discharge from the vessel and be available both in Houston and San Juan early on Tuesdays for delivery to distribution centers or onward intermodal transport without a weekend delay.

Typical commodities shipped to Puerto Rico include resins, rice, beans, chemicals, beverages and produce. From Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland receives medical supplies, foodstuffs and beverages.

In addition to dry and refrigerated containers, the National Glory, a converted tweendecker ‚ is configured to accommodate a wide range of oversize, out-of-gauge and project cargo.

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