Columbia Coastal Transport Joins MARAD’s VISA Program

Monday, September 30, 2002
Columbia Coastal Transport, LLC, has been notified by Maritime Administrator, Captain William G. Schubert, that its application was approved for MARAD’s Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program. Its acceptance into the VISA program allows Columbia Coastal to receive top-tier award priority for Department of Defense peacetime cargo. Columbia Coastal has also completed the contingency contracts for both the Military Traffic Management Command and Military Sealift Command which dictate terms and rates in the eventits vessels are utilized in time of war. “All of Columbia Coastal’s 14 barges are committed into the VISA program,” said Mr. Donovan Murray, General Manager Government Affairs at Columbia Coastal. “This means that our company stands ready to support our country’s defense transportation needs during contingencies.” Columbia Coastal’s barges range in capacity from 3,300 to over 10,000 Long Tons. Many are multipurpose vessels equipped to carry roll-on/roll-off and heavy-lift cargo, and all are fully outfitted to transport containers, including refrigerated units. “With our VISA status in place, Columbia Coastal further strengthens its commitment to handling government cargo such as USAID, Ex-Im Bank projects as well as direct military movements,” Murray added. The VISA program creates apartnership between the U.S. Government and industry providing commercial sealift and intermodal shipping services and systems necessary to meet the government’s mobilization requirements. The program is intended to provide for a seamless, time-phased transition from peacetime to wartime operations. As a U.S.-flag operator, Columbia Coastal’s barges are also utilized to transport humanitarian cargo shipments for Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) and PL-480 Title II program participants through its Government/Military Cargo Division based in Baltimore, MD. The company has FHWA common and contract authority to transport all Jones Act cargoes between U.S. coastal and inlandports, including inland waterways, and in the offshore domestic trades. With FMC Authority for foreign port calls, Columbia Coastal moves containerized and project cargoes to or from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the northern part of South America. Through its Project Division, Columbia Coastal Transport offers complete transportation services for special project cargo moves. This includes heavy haul rail/truck coordination with lift-on/lift-off and RoRo at all points, access to shallow and undeveloped ports, and a full array of port logistics services.
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