February 10, 2014
National Shipping of America and Rickmers-Linie Expand Break Bulk Services to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico shippers to benefit from the Rickmers-Linie global services network and its break bulk and project cargo expertise
San Francisco/Hamburg, 10 February 2014: National Shipping of America (NSA), which operates a fortnightly service between Houston and San Juan, has partnered with Rickmers-Linie (America) to provide more global connections to Puerto Rico shippers and greatly expand break bulk service opportunities to the island.
Rickmers-Linie will also serve as NSA’s general sales agent in North America.
The NSA vessel service, called the Isla Verde Express, connects the U.S. Mainland with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, offering the fastest transit times and using the most modern, greenest vessel in the trade.
NSA deploys the MV National Glory, a 570 TEU, 13,800 DWT vessel sailing under the U.S. flag and endorsed for Jones Act trades. The National Glory is the only vessel in the domestic Puerto Rico trade that is constructed to carry both containers and break bulk/project cargoes, both above and under deck.
Rickmers-Linie (America) is based in Houston, Texas, and is part of the Rickmers Group, a 180-year-old global provider of maritime services with a special focus on project, break bulk, and heavy lift cargoes.
Rickmers-Linie operates a 10-vessel, round-the-world Pearl String Service, connecting 16 ports in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It calls fortnightly at Houston, where Puerto Rico-destined cargo will relay directly to NSA’s vessel with minimal dwell time.
“Puerto Rico is one of the most densely populated islands in the world, and is greatly dependent on ocean services to provide everything from foodstuffs to project cargo to oversize materials and equipment,” said Torey Presti, president of NSA. “Access to a global vessel network with break bulk capabilities is especially beneficial to support the unique needs of an island trade.”
“We are pleased to offer Puerto Rico as an additional destination to our customers,” said Robert Sappio, president and CEO of Rickmers-Linie (America) Inc. “By connecting our Pearl String Service with NSA’s Isla Verde Express, we greatly expand options for Puerto Rico shippers to source goods from virtually anywhere in the world.”
Sappio added: “We are honored to be nominated as NSA’s sales agent and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership. Rickmers-Linie will bring its market knowledge and 100-country global scope to further enhance the success of NSA in the growing Puerto Rico trade.”
National Shipping Profile by American Journal of Transportation
The American Journal of Transportation, a leading industry news publication, profiled National Shipping of America's Isla Verde Express connecting Houston and Puerto Rico, and interviewed National Shipping President Torey Presti.
May 8, 2013
NSA Launches Non-Stop Service Between Houston and San Juan, Puerto Rico
“Isla Verde Express” will provide customers with more transit options and supply chain flexibility in this under-served market
San Francisco, May 8, 2013: National Shipping of America (NSA) today announced the start of the “Isla Verde Express” (IVE), a fortnightly service connecting Puerto Rico with the western United States via the Houston gateway. The maiden southbound voyage will be May 29, 2013 (Houston to San Juan), and the maiden northbound voyage (San Juan to Houston) will be June 4, 2013. Transit in each direction matches industry standards of seven days.
NSA will deploy the MV National Glory, a U.S. flagged container vessel with a capacity of 570 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent container Units), including 96 plugs for refrigerated containers. The vessel, upgraded in 2007 and configured for both containers and out-of-gauge cargo, uses low-sulfur diesel oil to minimize the impact on air quality. The National Glory will be the most modern and greenest vessel in the U.S.-Puerto Rico trade.
“After careful market analysis, we found that shippers west of the Mississippi River have few options to move cargo to and from Puerto Rico without having to use an East Coast port,” said Torey Presti, president of NSA. “A significant percentage of the mainland-Puerto Rico cargo is from Texas and the western states. By calling Houston, we offer a central U.S. location, which together with synchronized intermodal connections, enhances the options for shippers and keeps their supply chains predictable and steady.”
The goal of the service is to provide customers with reliability, responsiveness, and transparency, Presti said. “NSA is a small organization, but we have partnered with best-in-class companies to provide customers with outstanding personal service,” he added. Partners include general agent Norton Lilly, and intermodal provider Interdom.
A unique feature of the service will be its transparent and easily understood fuel charge: it’s based on the most recent market conditions (adjusted quarterly) and vessel utilization. For a given price of fuel, the higher the vessel utilization, the lower the fuel charge per container assessed to the customer. More details will be available on NSA’s web site, www.natship.us.
The IVE will call at the most flexible terminals in Houston and San Juan, offering direct rail links and value-added services such as warehousing, crossdocking, transloading, and bagging. Importantly, cargo will discharge from the vessel and be available both in Houston and San Juan early on Tuesdays. This provides the rest of the week for delivery to distribution centers or onward intermodal transport without a weekend delay. The service will offer synchronized intermodal rail connections to and from major load centers and distribution hubs throughout the western U.S., including Los Angeles, Oakland, and Stockton.
Only one other carrier provides a Houston to San Juan connection, also on a fortnightly basis. NSA’s service will be offered in alternate weeks, complementing that service. “The Isla Verde Express will help shippers maintain a consistent product flow to and from Puerto Rico,” Presti said. “That is vitally important to meet the demands of this unique island trade.”
Typical commodities shipped to Puerto Rico include resins, rice, beans, chemicals, beverages, and produce. From Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland receives medical supplies, foodstuffs, and beverages. In addition to dry and refrigerated containers, the National Glory is configured to accommodate a wide range of oversize, out-of-gauge, and project cargo. Examples include construction materials, machinery, and large vehicles.
Sailing schedules, tariffs, and surcharge information are available at www.natship.us. Service contracts will be available. Bookings are being accepted now by calling 904-720-1342.
ISLA VERDE EXPRESS 14-DAY VESSEL ROTATION
About NSA: National Shipping of America was established in 2007 and consists of a team with broad industry experience in container operations and short sea shipping. Its founder is Dr. C.C. Chen, a pioneer of short sea shipping in Asia and also the founder of Wan Hai Lines in 1962. In an effort to replicate his success in Asia, National Shipping executives worked closely for the past five years developing market opportunities within the domestic ocean transportation network of the United States. This included active participation in the American Marine Highway program sponsored by the U.S. Maritime Administration. Torey Presti, NSA’s president since its inception, has more than 30 years of experience in the ocean transportation industry, including senior positions with APL, Pacific Far East Line, and U.S. Lines. www.natship.us