Domestic ocean carrier Horizon Lines is moving its Northeast terminal from the Port of New York/New Jersey in Elizabeth, N.J., to Philadelphia to better serve customers and reduce costs on its Puerto Rico service, the company said Wednesday.
The first ship from San Juan is scheduled to depart April 7 and arrive at the Port of Philadelphia on April 11. A southbound vessel will depart Philadelphia the same day.
The weekly service will call at the Packer Ave. Terminal on the Delaware River, said Joe Menta, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. The Packer Terminal is operated by Greenwich Terminals LLC, the local stevedore for Holt Logistics Corp.
The 112-acre Packer Terminal has six berths and handles containers, steel products, frozen meat, paper, dairy products and project cargo. It has seven container cranes, is located within a half mile of interstates 95 and 76, and has connections to the CSX, Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific rail networks.
"The Port of Philadelphia's strategic location and terminal facilities are expected to produce a number of significant advantages for Horizon Lines customers in the Puerto Rico trade lane," Richard Rodriguez, vice president and general manager for Puerto Rico, said in a statement. "These include fastest transit times, quickest turn times, a comprehensive intermodal network, expedited inspections, and improved warehousing and transloading capabilities."
In Port Elizabeth, part of the Port of New York and New Jersey, Horizon vessels are handled by APM Terminals.
Service schedules between Jacksonville, Fla., Houston, and San Juan remain unchanged.
Horizon said it will take a $6 million charge against earnings in the first half of the year to cover the estimated breakup fee from withdrawing from the Port Elizabeth's multi-employer pension plan and other relocation costs.
The Jones Act carrier operates 14 vessels in the Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico trade lanes. In December, it cut back its Jacksonville service to once per week instead of two sailings because of the weak economy in Puerto Rico. - Eric Kulisch