November 21, 2014
BUNKER ADJUSTMENT CHARGE
In 2012, in an effort to reduce air pollution, the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) mandated the ocean carrier to use for the main engine propulsion a grade of heavy fuel oil with a sulfur content not exceeding 1% sulfur within the regulation zones of the United States and Puerto Rico. The zones extend 200 miles offshore from both the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico. These standards are stepped up on January 1, 2015 requiring the use of fuel oil that does not exceed 0.1% sulfur. The U.S. Coast Guard and EPA enforce this regulation.
The National Glory, the cleanest vessel in trade, is powered by a modern Category 3 marine diesel engine, the same type of propulsion system that is impacted by EPA regulations covering vessels operating in the North American and Caribbean Emission Control Areas. Older, less efficient steamships are exempt from these regulations.
As of this writing, no major oil refiner in Houston offers the required 0.1% sulfur known as Ultra Low Sulfur Heavy Fuel Oil (ULSHFO). In the absence of this product, the regulation requires us to burn the more expensive ultra low sulfur Marine Gas Oil (MGO). While tug engines were designed to operate on MGO, motor vessels, like the National Glory, were designed to operate on HFO.
The National Glory can operate on ULSMGO, but it comes at a cost. First, the current differential between the current LSHFO and ULSMGO is about $350 per ton – MGO being more expensive. Secondly, we require added lubricants as sulfur is the primary lubricant component in fuel oil.
In order to comply with this regulation, National Shipping has already purchased MGO in order to clean or purge the tanks of the heavier fuel as the ECA regulation goes into effect on January 1, 2015. National Shipping is preparing to burn ULSMGO at least through the first quarter of 2015 or until the market can supply 0.1% sulfur HFO.
As many of you know, National Shipping uses a transparent ‘bunker charge matrix’ in lieu of the traditional bunker surcharge, which we feel is a more accurate way to measure the impact of fuel on the overall transportation cost. Our methodology is based on the actual cost of the fuel combined with vessel utilization and rated per loaded container.
Therefore, effective from 1/1/15 to 3/31/15 our bunker charge will be adjusted from $840 per container to $ 1,030 per container for cargoes between Houston and San Juan.
We will post these changes in our tariff as well as our website.
As always, we appreciate your understanding in this matter and would be pleased to answer any questions regarding this new regulation.
On behalf of National Shipping I would like to thank you for your support of the new entry to the Puerto Rico trade.
May 27, 2014
National Shipping Celebrates One-Year of Dedicated Service
to Puerto Rico
“Isla Verde Express” has maintained near-perfect reliability record, provides non-stop connection between U.S. Gulf and San Juan.
San Francisco, April 11, 2014: National Shipping of America (National) celebrates this week the one-year anniversary of the launch of the “Isla Verde Express,” a fortnightly service connecting Puerto Rico with the mainland United States via the Houston gateway. The maiden voyage was May 29, 2013, and the service has maintained a 95 percent reliability record and no missed calls.
National Shipping deploys the MV National Glory, a U.S. flagged container vessel (13,800 DWT) with a capacity of 570 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent container Units), including 96 plugs for refrigerated containers.
Upgraded in 2007, it is the only vessel in the domestic Puerto Rico trade specially designed to carry both containers and break bulk/project cargoes, either above or under deck. The National Glory is the most modern and greenest container vessel in the U.S.-Puerto Rico trade. It uses low-sulfur diesel oil to minimize the impact on air quality, and will transition to even cleaner fuel in 2015.
National Shipping also deployed a new fleet of reefer (refrigerated) containers to meet the demand of shippers moving fresh and frozen foodstuffs to Puerto Rico. Its fleet of dry containers is the youngest in the trade.
“Our call at Houston means that cargo, especially from the western United States, arrives several days faster than with the traditional method of using an East Coast port and then ocean transit by barge,” said Torey Presti, president of National Shipping. “By complementing the biweekly service of another provider from Houston, we keep our customers’ supply chains reliable and predictable.”
Torey said that customers have not only embraced the new service, but also the new style of shipping, with personalized, no-nonsense service and a strong emphasis on vessel schedule reliability.
In February, National Shipping partnered with Rickmers-Linie to provide more global connections to Puerto Rico shippers and greatly expand container and break bulk service opportunities to the island.
Rickmers-Linie operates a 10-vessel, round-the-world Pearl String Service, connecting 16 ports in Europe, Asia, Middle East, and the Americas. It calls fortnightly at Houston, where Puerto Rico-destined cargo relays directly to the IVE service with minimal dwell time.
To help manage its growing business, National Shipping last month appointed Roberto Lugo, Jr., to its vice president and general manager for Puerto Rico. Lugo has more than 30 years of experience in the transportation sector and Caribbean trade.
The Isla Verde Express calls 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 discharges from the vessel and is available both in Houston and San Juan on weekdays for immediate delivery to distribution centers or onward intermodal transport without a weekend delay. The service is synchronized with intermodal rail connections to and from major load centers and distribution hubs throughout the western U.S., including Los Angeles, Oakland, and Stockton.
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, yachts, and large vehicles.
May 14, 2014
Caribbean Business PR Profiles Roberto Lugo, Jr., National Shipping's New General Manager and Head of Sales for Puerto Rico
Caribbean Business PR, Puerto Rico's leading business publication, interviews industry veteran Roberto Lugo, Jr. and also details National Shipping's plans for growth and its customer-focused operations.
April 11, 2014
NSA Appoints Roberto Lugo, Jr. as Vice President and General Manager for Puerto Rico
Industry veteran leads sales efforts for company’s Isla Verde Express, linking Puerto Rico and U.S. Gulf
San Francisco, April 11, 2014: National Shipping of America (NSA) today announced the appointment of industry veteran Roberto Lugo, Jr. as its Vice President and General Manager for Puerto Rico.
Lugo has more than 30 years of experience in the transportation sector and Caribbean trade.
He comes to National Shipping from Trailer Bridge where he served as General Manager in San Juan. Prior to that he was at Crowley Maritime for more than 24 years, serving in various senior management positions, including Vice President and General Manager for Puerto Rico, in which he directed operations, management, sales and marketing, HR, and labor relations.
He started his career at Navieras de Puerto Rico and Transamerican Trailer Transport.
“We are delighted to bring Mr. Lugo aboard,” said NSA President Torey Presti. “His broad experience, together with his extensive knowledge of the unique demands of the Puerto Rico trade, will help our customers gain efficiency and reliability in their supply chains.”
Lugo started April 1, 2014 and will be based in San Juan.
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