USA: Horizon Lines Prepares Drydocking of Its Three Vessels
Containership operator Horizon Lines Inc, one of the nation’s leading domestic ocean shipping companies, will be drydocking three of its vessels at an Asian shipyard in 2012.
“In 2012, we are making significant investments in our Jones Act fleet with the dry-docking of three of our Puerto Rico vessels in Asia,” Stephen H. Fraser, interim President and Chief Executive Officer said. “Although dry-docking our vessels in Asia will add considerable transit expense in 2012, it will also facilitate extensive maintenance and high-quality enhancements that are instrumental in helping maintain service integrity in the Puerto Rico market.”
The Jones Act
- Passed by Congress and signed into law in 1920.
- States that all cargo sailing from one U.S. port to another U.S. port, either directly or via a foreign port, must sail on a vessel that is U.S. crewed, owned and built.
- The law applies to all domestic cargo sailing on U.S. rivers and lakes, coastwise and from the mainland to the three noncontiguous locations (Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico).
- Similar requirements have been established for all forms of domestic cargo and passenger transportation in the United States and in nearly all developed nations.
- Provides long-term service and rate stability end encourages investment in domestic port infrastructure.
- A factor in national security in that all domestic transportation is owned and operated by U.S. citizens.
- Of the 2.5 billion tons of cargo moving annually in U.S. maritime commerce, more than 1 billion tons, or 41%, is transported domestically by the Jones Act fleet.
- A new vessel has been added to the fleet almost every day for the past 40 years, and there are currently over 39,000 vessels in the Jones Act fleet.
- Over 135,000 people in the U.S. are employed on board Jones Act ships alone, with thousands more in jobs directly related to the U.S.-Flag domestic shipping industry.
The company maintains a fleet of 15 fully Jones Act qualified vessels and operates five port terminals in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Horizon Lines provides reliable transportation services that leverage its unique combination of ocean transportation and inland distribution capabilities to deliver goods that are vital to the prosperity of the markets it serves.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, May 11, 2012; Image: horizonlines