Miami: The Puerto Rico Ports Authority’s boss issued a statement on Thursday assuring compatriots and trade partners that the US territory will continue to receive crucial supplies despite the loss of the biggest shipping line to the island.
North Carolina-based Horizon Lines’ announced late last year that it will cease operations and shut down its Puerto Rico domestic liner service.
Puerto Rico has a population of 3.6m people and it imports 85% of what it consumes. Horizon Lines had hauled 30% of that merchandise.
Ingrid Colberg Rodriguez, executive director of the authority, said in her Thursday statement: “The shipping industry keeps undergoing changes amid great challenges and Horizon’s exit is the most recent of these. We’ll keep cooperating with (Puerto Rico’s) shipping sector to keep maritime transport operating.”
She also said freight operations at the Port of San Juan (pictured) – the island’s busiest – are “stable and secure”.
There are still three other shipping companies supplying the island, Colberg Rodriguez noted. And one of those, Crowley Maritime Corporation of Jacksonville in Florida, is committed to deploying bigger triple-deck barges and running them more frequently from Jacksonville to San Juan, Colberg Rodriguez noted.