Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 06-10
Date: Mar 18 2010
Contact: MARAD Office of Public Affairs
Contact Phone: 202-366-5807

Final U.S. “Ready Ship” Returns to Norfolk Tomorrow

Haiti Recovery Progress Noted as Commercial Shippers Continue Services

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the S.S. Cape May is returning to Norfolk, VA, tomorrow, Friday, March 19.  The Cape May is the last of three Maritime Administration civilian cargo ships called upon for emergency relief duty in Haiti to return.

“We are grateful for the U.S. merchant mariners who have once again shown their professionalism and reliably performed their duties in support of Operation Unified Response,” said Secretary LaHood.  “Their services in helping to restore critical supply lines played a vital role in the U.S. efforts to quickly save and start rebuilding lives in Haiti.”

The Cape May was joined by the S.S. Cornhusker State and the M/V Huakaiin providing relief supplies and military cargo, including equipment to reopen the damaged seaport at Port au Prince.  Each ship was activated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense. 

As these U.S. government ships return from Haiti, commercial U.S. shipping companies continue to carry materials and supplies to the earthquake-stricken region.

Twenty-five U.S. commercial ships continue to assist in the massive recovery effort, including ships and barges operated by: Crimson Shipping (Chickasaw, AL), Crowley Maritime (Jacksonville, FL), American Cargo Transport (Seattle, WA), Dome Chartering (Baltimore, MD), and Trailer Bridge (Jacksonville, FL).  Crowley was particularly instrumental in reconstructing port infrastructure and performing salvaging work to permit efficient offloading of relief cargo.

“By all accounts, American maritime expertise and know-how has made a big difference for federal relief officials trying to get supplies into locations with badly-damaged port infrastructure,” said Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda.  “The work of the logistics professionals at these U.S. companies is allowing a quicker, more efficient recovery for Haiti.”

Additional details on the Maritime Administration ships which assisted in Haiti can be found at www.marad.dot.gov.  Shipping companies interested in transporting U.S. government food aid to Haiti and other countries should contact the Agency for International Development, Ocean Transportation: http://www.usaid.gov/business/ocean/.

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