Crowley Maritime Corporation, working under contract with the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), successfully discharged 202 20-foot containers of relief supplies across a beach in Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday marking the largest post-disaster lightering operation to date. This successful, larger scale operation follows a trial shipment of 12 containers last week.
In addition to the two sailings of the Marcajama directly into Port-au-Prince, the ship also made a call in Rio Haina as did the Crowley Americas. Both ships discharged relief cargo into Rio Haina, which was then trucked to Port-au-Prince. Combined, these three sailings have resulted in 462 containers of relief cargo to the area.
Much like the first discharge, this most recent lightering operation involved lifting containers from the 820-TEU Marcajama, a Crowley container ship anchored in the harbor, to two smaller, shallow-draft landing vessels for transport and discharge over the beach to Port-au-Prince.
"This second, much larger shipment is a culmination of a lot of teamwork and professionalism from various members of the Crowley team," said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Latin America services. "With every voyage we are able to make, we bring much needed supplies to the people of Haiti allowing them to begin the process of rebuilding their lives, their country and eventually re-establish commerce."
Following the discharge, the Marcajama is enroute back to Fla. where she will once again load cargo and return to Port-au-Prince under contract with USTRANSCOM. The ship is scheduled to make a return trip to Port-au-Prince in the middle of the first week of Feb.
To continue to improve upon the temporary cargo operations, Crowley is mobilizing two 400-ft-long, 100-ft-wide flat deck barges, along with two Manitowoc 230-ton crawler cranes in the United States for USTRANSCOM that will be brought into Port-au-Prince to serve as a makeshift dock for future cargo operations. The first barge and crane departing Orange, Texas should arrive in Haiti on or about Feb. 4. The second barge is being outfitted in Lake Charles, La. and should arrive by mid-Feb.
Relief cargoes continue to be consolidated and stuffed into containers at Crowley's Miami warehouse and distribution center. Crowley's Jacksonville, Fla., warehouse and distribution center also stands ready should the need arise to have cargo consolidated in the northeast Fla. area.
"Our Miami warehouse team has worked around the clock to meet the warehousing and distribution needs of USTRANSCOM," said Steve Collar, senior vice president and general manager, logistics. "The transfer of loads from trucks to oceangoing containers upon arrival at the warehouse is an essential component to ensuring the loads are ready for sailing on time."