Maritrans Inc., announced that following Hurricane Ivan
, the Company's fleet is operating under regular conditions and servicing ports in both the Southeast and Northeast. The severe weather conditions caused by Hurricane Ivan as well as Hurricanes Charley and Frances resulted in temporary delays in service.
Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of Maritrans, commented, "Consistent with Maritrans' commitment to adhere to the highest safety and environmental standards, we implemented precautionary procedures that protected our crews, our vessels and our customers' cargos during these three storms. While erratic weather is not unusual during the third quarter, we experienced three significant storms in a five-week period that will result in losing a total of approximately 60 operating days across the fleet. Despite a stronger spot rate environment in the third quarter of 2004 relative to the same period in 2003, we expect the storms to have an impact on earnings for the quarter. We do not anticipate any long-term effects from the storm and continue to effectively meet the demand for petroleum product in Florida and lightering services in the Delaware Bay
Maritrans also announced that the OCEAN 193 commenced its rebuilding process on September 5, 2004. The OCEAN 193, which will be renamed the M209, is the sixth vessel to be rebuilt out of the nine single-hull barges requiring conversion to a double-hull structure. The M209 rebuild is expected to be completed in the spring of 2005. The vessel's carrying capacity will be increased by approximately 30,000 barrels by inserting a midbody during the rebuilding process.
Mr. Whitworth added, "We are pleased to further implement our patented rebuilding program and remain well ahead of competitors in operating an OPA-compliant double-hull fleet. With over 64% of our vessels double-hulled compared to an industry average of 45%, we are poised to benefit from the expected long-term shortage in Jones Act tonnage. Maritrans will continue to focus on providing customers with a quality fleet that meets their exacting requirements."