Crowley Maritime Corp.’s new container/roll on-roll off ConRo ship El Coquí successfully delivered its first cargo from Jacksonville, Fla., to the company’s modernized Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan on 30 July 2018, a historic milestone in the company’s transformation of its US mainland-Puerto Rico logistics services.

“Increasing supply chain velocity while reducing customers’ landed costs was the core reason for our $550 million investment in this important service,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “Bringing this new ship, and soon its sister ship, to reality is one of the final steps to making this vision a reality. It should be evident to all that our commitment to Puerto Rico could not be stronger.”

“The diverse cargo carrying capabilities, as well as the ability to carry in-demand 53-foot containers, means that these high-performing ships will greatly benefit customers shipping goods between the mainland and the island,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services.

“Cargo for businesses and consumers will be able to dependably reach markets at peak time, whether it is dry, refrigerated or breakbulk, such as vehicles and other rolling stock.”

El Coquí, one of the world’s first ConRos powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), departed Jacksonville on Friday night and arrived in San Juan Monday. The ship has a cruising speed of 22 knots and can carry about 2,400 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers in a wide range of sizes and types – including 53-foot by 102-inch-wide, high-capacity containers and refrigerated containers. Within the ship is an enclosed, ventilated and weather-tight Ro/Ro deck that can protectively carry up to 400 cars and larger vehicles. This type of shipboard garage is offered exclusively by Crowley in the trade, enhancing supply chain solutions for customers.

Besides full-loads of dry cargo containers, the inaugural cargo also included various equipment and automobiles, trucks and SUVs, as well as refrigerated “reefer” containers for produce.

The arrival continues a series of milestones that are now enhancing Crowley’s capabilities in Puerto Rico. In San Juan, Crowley is utilising three new, ship-to-shore gantry cranes, at Crowley’s Isla Grande Terminal to add speed to vessel unloading. The cranes are the first new, specialised gantry cranes to be received for operation in San Juan Harbor in more than five decades. The cranes complement new 900-foot-long, 114-foot wide concrete pier at Isla Grande.

In addition, Crowley has expanded Isla Grande’s terminal capacity for handling refrigerated containers; paved 15 acres to accommodate container stacking; added containers and associated handling equipment to its fleet; installed a new electrical substation to provide power for the new gantry cranes; constructed a new seven-lane exit gate to increase speed and efficiency for  trucking partners; and implemented a new, modern terminal operating software system (TOS) to modernize and enhance cargo deliveries and exchanges.