Crowley Unloads 202 Containers at Port-au-Prince

Crowley Unloads 202 Containers at Port-au-Prince

Crowley Maritime Corp. discharged 202 20-foot containers of relief supplies across a beach in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday under its contract with the U.S. Transportation Command.

Crowley said it was the largest post-disaster lightering operation to date following on 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 delivery of 462 containers of relief cargo to the area.

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.

Following the discharge, the Marcajama is on the way back to Florida where it will 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 next week.

Crowley said it has dispatched two 400-foot-long, 100-foot-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, Tex. 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 Florida area.

Crowley said it has suspended its regularly scheduled commercial cargo services to and from Haiti while it conducts relief operations.

Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.