Crowley Maritime Corporation, working under contract with the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), is unloading Haiti relief cargo in Rio Haina, Dominican Republicy. Fifty six of the 68 20-ft containers of water and meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) will be trucked across the border into Haiti.
The remaining 12 loads aboard the container ship Macajama will be transported by water to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and be offloaded in an experimental lightering operation and delivered across a beach on Jan. 22. If successful, future shipments could be made directly to Port-au-Prince.
The Crowley plan calls for the Macajama to anchor offshore near the port's damaged south pier and near the exposed beach. Using a shipboard crane on the Macajama, the 12 remaining containers would be lowered onto a smaller vessel operated by G and G Shipping and delivered across the beach on wheels.
A team from Crowley's TITAN Salvage subsidiary surveyed the port area Jan. 18 and determined that such an operation was possible. They also determined that it would be possible to establish a temporary docking structure on the beach using a Crowley 400-ft-long by 100-ft-wide flat deck barge. Crowley is mobilizing such a barge (the 410) and a crane from Orange, Texas that could be used for cargo discharge, and plans to have both on the scene in Port-au-Prince on, or about, Feb. 2.
A new wave of Haiti relief supplies in approximately 100 20-ft containers was loaded Jan. 20 at Crowley's Port Everglades facility on the Roll On / Roll Off ship Crowley Americas and will be transported to Rio Haina for delivery Jan. 23. Those containers, also moving under contract with USTRANSCOM, were consolidated and stuffed at Crowley's Miami warehouse. They will be trucked across the border into Haiti.
The Macajama is scheduled to return to Port Everglades over the weekend and load more relief cargo, which could be delivered directly to Port-au-Prince next week, if the test lightering operation is successful Friday.
As announced last Wednesday, Crowley has suspended indefinitely its regularly scheduled commercial cargo services to and from Haiti. The situation in Haiti remains unstable and Crowley's priority remains getting relief supplies to the people impacted by the devastating earthquake. Crowley continues to offer its twice weekly service to and from the Dominican Republic.