Horizon Lines announced that it will expand its Gulf service to offer shippers a Tuesday sailing every other week from Jacksonville to San Juan. Adding the Jacksonville call also creates a high-speed, over-the-weekend marine option through Houston for cargo bound for southeastern destinations along the Eastern Seaboard. The company's weekly Thursday service departing Jacksonville for Puerto Rico remains unchanged.
"This is an innovative schedule refinement that utilizes an existing in-service vessel to add a biweekly Tuesday Jacksonville service, as well as provide both U.S. coastal and deep water ports of call in the same sailing schedule," said Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The result is a customer-focused service enhancement that is economically attractive, as well as socially and environmentally responsible."
The first sailing of the new service is scheduled to depart Houston on Friday, June 7, 2013, arriving in Jacksonville on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. There, certain cargo destined for metropolitan areas in the Southeast will be transferred via the company's intermodal network and delivered to final destinations like Miami and Orlando, Florida, Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. The vessel will then load additional cargo bound for San Juan and depart on the same Tuesday, arriving in San Juan on Friday. It will return directly to Houston from San Juan, departing on Friday and arriving in Houston on the following Friday, maintaining the current 14-day roundtrip schedule.
"Horizon's new hybrid service provides two important solutions for shippers who are moving cargo between Puerto Rico and our Jacksonville and Houston ports," said Joe Rodriguez, Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "First, we are responding to their request for a midweek sailing solution from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, which hasn't been available since we discontinued our weekly Tuesday service in January. Second, we are providing shippers with an attractive marine solution for delivering cargo between two major regions of the U.S. We have received strong interest from shippers of building products, raw materials, resins, agricultural products, foodstuffs and other materials that flow through Houston to distribution centers and manufacturing facilities in the Southeast."
The Horizon Producer, a self-propelled, fully cellularized container ship with cargo capacity of approximately 650 40-ft. containers, will continue its deployment in the expanded Gulf service. Horizon Lines has offered direct transit between Houston and San Juan on a 14-day roundtrip sailing schedule since 2007.
The marine solution for moving cargo from Houston to Jacksonville offers a high-speed, cost-effective and environmentally responsible channel for shipping cargo from the Gulf to the South Atlantic markets. "The over-the-weekend transit has the potential to remove numerous cargo containers from the nation's major highways between Houston and Jacksonville, reducing road wear, traffic congestion, potential accidents, and pollution," said Richard Rodriguez, Vice President and General Manager, Puerto Rico. "Each container moving from Houston to Jacksonville on the Horizon Producer eliminates 900 truck miles one way and 1,800 truck miles on a round-trip basis, which equates to 1.5-three metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions for each container moved. Additionally, the new service allows us to offer faster transit times from Houston to the South Atlantic markets than railroads currently are capable of providing, and to move the cargo over the weekend, when truck availability is scarce."