Taíno, from shipbuilder VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Miss., will soon join sister ship El Coquí, which was delivered in July, in providing shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Crowley said the milestone marks the final chapter in construction of its $550 million investment in the two newly built, Commitment Class ships and associated port upgrades.
Taíno, like El Coquí, will be operated by Crowley’s global ship management group. She is scheduled to make her maiden voyage to San Juan on Jan. 8 from her dedicated U.S. mainland port in Jacksonville, JAXPORT.
“From a business standpoint, Taíno and El Coquí are key components of our integrated logistics offerings that are bringing speed to market and creating a competitive advantage for our customers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO, said. “With our own vessels and proprietary transportation and distribution network, we’re reducing friction and complexity while increasing the velocity of customers’ goods moving to market and reducing their landed costs.”
Taíno is named for the native Puerto Ricans who lived off the land with great appreciation and respect for their environment, and El Coquí is named for the popular indigenous frog on the island.
Fueling the ships with LNG reduces emissions significantly, including a 100 percent reduction in sulphur oxide and particulate matter; a 92 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide; and a reduction of carbon dioxide of more than 35 percent per container, compared with current fossil fuels, Crowley said.
The company’s Isla Grande terminal upgrades included a new 900-foot-long, 114-foot-wide concrete pier and associated dredging needed to accommodate the two new ships; three new ship-to-shore gantry cranes; expanding terminal capacity for handling refrigerated containers; paving 15 acres to accommodate container stacking; adding containers and associated handling equipment to its fleet; installing a new electrical substation to provide power for the new gantry cranes; constructing a new seven-lane exit gate for increased efficiency; and installing hardware required for a new, state-of-the-art terminal operating software system.