TOTE Maritime Provides Update on Puerto Rico Relief Effort

File photo shows the LNG-powered MV Isla Bella at the port of Jacksonville, Florida. Photo: JAXPORT Marine Unit via NASSCO

U.S. shipping company TOTE Maritime provided an update Thursday on its continued work with the Puerto Rican government and other organizations to expedite cargo and restore critical infrastructure to hurricane-hit communities throughout Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

TOTE Maritime is one of three main ocean carriers, along with Crowley and Trailer Bridge, providing regular Jones Act shipping service to Puerto Rico from the U.S. mainland. The three carriers all operate between their terminals in Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan.

In an update Thursday, TOTE said it continues to work to increase productivity at its San Juan marine terminal, which is currently at 80 percent productivity. “Productivity continues to improve every day thanks to the hard work of Puerto Ricans who are committed to distributing goods communities, stores and shelters around the island,” TOTE said in a statement.

TOTE said it is also continuing to coordinate with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to ensure the timely and consistent arrival of goods to the island.

TOTE’s containership MV Isla Bella arrived in San Juan on Sunday, October 1, with more than 1,040 FEUS (Forty-foot equivalent units) of cargo. “In the last 2 days, more than 550 containers have left TOTE Maritime’s facility in San Juan for distribution in communities and delivery to stores. In addition, the Perla del Caribe is scheduled to arrive on Friday with 1060 FEUs of cargo. These shipments include bucket trucks, electrical poles, food, water, ice and fuel amongst other critical items for the island,” the company said.

In addition, TOTE Maritime efforts also include:

  • Transportation of relief and recovery goods for more than 20 organizations including businesses, FEMA and various non-governmental organizations
  • Facilitate the immediate need of a large generator to one of Puerto Rico’s major food distributors to support relief throughout the island
  • Engagement of key power contractors to support increased generator capacity on island
  • Terminal operations seven days a week to allow for distribution of goods throughout the week
    Donations of water and ice to the government for key communities

Earlier this week, Trailer Bridge said it had increased its vessel capacity to five vessels to provide additional emergency capacity to the Puerto Rico trade in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Crowley Maritime has also been working to expedite relief cargo and accelerate throughput at its Isla Grande terminal in San Juan.