Crowley Maritime said its Isla Grande terminal at San Juan, Puerto Rico, sustained only minor damage from Hurricane Maria and that the company expected to reopen its terminal and handle incoming vessels as the US Coast Guard grants permission.
Four Crowley roll-on, roll-off barges loaded with a mix of relief and commercial cargo en route to San Juan, with two more scheduled to follow, the company said. The six vessels will bring in more than 2,200 container loads of food and aid cargo and commercial goods.
Crowley said its Isla Grande terminal in San Juan was expected to be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time Saturday and Sunday, and would resume normal 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. hours next week. The company’s Guaynabo warehouse is also scheduled to reopen Saturday.
Puerto Rico officials have said reopening ports is a top priority as the island struggles to recover from a direct hit by the Category 4 hurricane. The storm caused extensive wind and water damage, wrecked the island’s electrical grid, and disrupted communications.
Crowley said that in addition to the first group of incoming barge loads, it has more than 2,200 full container loads of food and aid cargo and commercial goods, stored and awaiting distribution at its San Juan terminal.
John Hourihan, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services, said that while the company waits for the coastguard to allow vessels to move in and out of port, it is working with local authorities and the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury to speed the release of food and aid cargo.
“A key component to reopening the supply chain will be the availability of truck power to move the loads to their inland destinations and the ability of our customers to receive cargo,” Hourihan said. “With so much damage to infrastructure and facilities, this will be a challenge, but we remain optimistic about the resiliency of the people of Puerto Rico and their desire to do whatever is necessary to recover as quickly as possible.”