Crowley Sends 18 Jones Act Tankers to Florida Ports

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  • As DP World Interested in Hong Kong’s Cruise Terminal Business

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime has sent 18 Jones Act petroleum vessels to discharge gasoline and diesel into Florida ports in the coming few days.

The mobilization responds to fuel shortages caused by the evacuation of millions of Floridians ahead of Hurricane Irma.

The vessels include Crowley’s MT Ohio and Florida, which were among the first tankers to bring fuel into the Port of Tampa on Tuesday along with MT West Virginia in Port Everglades.

Fuel is being discharged to all of the major terminals in Florida – Jacksonville, Port Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale in addition to Tampa.

The vessels will be bringing a combined volume 2.75 million barrels (115 million gallons) of gasoline and 500,000 barrels (21 million gallons) of diesel fuel within an eight-day period.

Although the vessels began discharging as soon as local fuel depot and port authorities gave the green light, “berth availability is limited even when fully operational,” Rob Grune, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services, said.

“As a result, we expect that fully loaded vessels will experience significant delays waiting in line to discharge,” Grune added.

The Jones Act prohibits the transportation of cargo between points in the US, either directly or via a foreign port, or for any part of the transportation, in any vessel other than a vessel that has a coastwise endorsement.

In the meantime, Dubai-based port operator DP World is interested in exploring Hong Kong’s cruise terminal business.

The ambition was revealed during a meeting held this week between DP World Group Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Hong Kong counterparts, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam at Government House, Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing, Frank Chan Fan, Hong Chief Executive-Elect Office Director, Kong Eric Chan Kwok-ki, and senior company officials.

The meeting took place on the heels of a push to strengthen ties between the UAE and Hong Kong following the recent opening of a Dubai Export Office there and the planned Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai to attract capital investment.

As informed by DP World, the agenda of the meeting included items like the development of cruise terminal facilities, financial services, customs collaboration and OBOR (One Belt, One Road) initiative, along with ways of boosting cooperation in sectors such as ports, logistics, customs, education, and innovation.

“Hong Kong and Dubai are at the crossroads of world trade and we share a common history as capitals of commerce, where well-developed logistics infrastructure has enabled growth of our economies,” Bin Sulayem, said.

DP World’s potential investment in cruise terminal facilities in Hong Kong comes at a time when the cruise shipping industry in Asia is experiencing a boom.

In 2017, 66 cruise ships are being deployed in Asian waters, a 53 percent growth since 2013 when only 43 ships were cruising in Asia, a new report released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) finds.

Furthermore, a total of 3.1 million Asians took cruises in 2016, 55 percent more than in 2015, CLIA said.

Infrastructural investments to support the booming industry are likely to prove very lucrative for investors, as DP World seems to have recognized.

The company and partners are already investing USD 1.9 billion in China port terminals until 2020 and have operations alongside Hong Kong, in Qingdao, Tianjin and Yantai.

DP World opened a new terminal designed to accommodate the largest operating cruise vessels this summer at Limassol port, Cyprus.

DP World Limassol is the third addition to the cruise terminal portfolio that DP World operates globally, after cruise terminal operations in Mina Rashid, Dubai and Quinquela Martin, Argentina.

World maritime news

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