A new all-water service connecting Houston with San Juan, Puerto Rico, will launch May 29 when the U.S.-flagged containership National Glory departs the Port of Houston Authority's Jacintoport terminal on its maiden voyage.
The new 14-day service, which is being provided by National Shippers of America (NSA), is called "Isla Verde Express" and will provide customers with more transit options and supply chain flexibility in this "under-served" market, NSA officials say.
"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, NSA president. "A significant percentage of the mainland-Puerto Rico cargo is from Texas and the western states. By calling Houston, the service will 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."
In addition to its centralized location, Jacintoport provides a broad range of intermodal, warehousing and logistics support. The terminal will provide direct rail connections, warehouse and terminal services to NSA.
Value-added services include warehousing, crossdocking, transloading and bagging. Cargo will discharge from the vessel and be available both in Houston and San Juan early on Tuesdays for delivery to distribution centers or onward intermodal transport without a weekend delay.
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 – a converted tweendecker – is configured to accommodate a wide range of oversize, out-of-gauge and project cargo.