MN100: Harbor Harvest's Shortsea, Environmentally Correct Shipping Arrives
The Captain Ben Moore is the third in a series of 65-foot aluminum catamarans built by Derecktor and powered by BAE Systems hybrid technology.
The vessel was built for Harbor Harvest, a Norwalk, CT, based company set on changing the way fresh produce and foods are transported around metro areas. The forward-thinking vessel will carry goods from regional family farms across Long Island Sound, relieving traffic congestion and reducing emissions. The vessel has a top speed of 15 knots and boasts 300 square feet of open cargo space, 100 square feet of covered space and 140 square feet of walk-in refrigerated space. Total capacity is an impressive 12,000 pounds of cargo, equaling three to five full truckloads.
Today, the federal government is finally giving the issue more than lip service. With freight levels expected to increase by more than 40% over the coming decades (Marad projections), a series of 2019 Marad grants saw $6.8 million awarded for three shortsea projects. $1.8 million went to Harbor Harvest and its newly launched service linking Long Island with southern Connecticut (circumventing the worsening I-95 and I-495 snarl in the NYC metro area).
Shortsea shipping expert Bob Kunkel and his nascent Harbor Harvest operation envision collaboration with trucking companies to obviate the metro area highway bottleneck delays. Harbor Harvest benefits from a subtle but important change in criteria necessary to obtain designation as a Marine Highway; services hauling palletized or individually packaged cargo are now eligible. This broadened mandate comes as transport paradigms for local distribution are shifting, with greater emphasis on the ‘last mile’ delivery.
This article first appeared in the AUGUST 2019 MN100 print edition of MarineNews magazine.