Crowley Establishing Unloading Capability at Port-au-Prince
On Wednesday, January 20, Crowley Maritime Corporation, working under contract with the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), unloaded Haiti relief cargo in Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. Fifty six of the 68 20-foot containers of water and meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) were trucked across the border into Haiti.
The remaining 12 loads aboard the container ship Marcajama were transported by water to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. They will be offloaded in an experimental lightering operation and delivered across a beach today (Friday, January 22.) If this method is successful, future shipments could be made directly to Port-au-Prince.
The Crowley plan calls for the Marcajama to anchor offshore near the port's damaged south pier and near the exposed beach. Using a shipboard crane on the Marcajama, the 12 remaining containers would be lowered onto a smaller vessel operated by G and G Shipping and delivered across the beach on wheels.
A team from Crowley's TITAN Salvage subsidiary surveyed the port area Monday and determined that such an operation was possible. They also determined that it would be possible to establish a temporary docking structure on the beach using a Crowley 400-foot-long by 100-foot-wide flat deck barge. Crowley is mobilizing such a barge (the 410) and a crane from Orange, Texas that could be used for cargo discharge, and plans to have both on the scene in Port-au-Prince on or about Feb. 2.