is widely known as “the Krueger report.” “But Puerto
Rico does so disproportionately, with import costs at least
twice as high as in neighboring islands on account of
the Jones Act, which forces all shipping to and from U.S.
ports to be conducted with U.S. vessels and crews.
“Even those that consider the negative effects of the
Jones Act to be exaggerated — e.g. outbound cargo
rates are lower than inbound ones, as ships would rather not return empty — concede it is a clear negative,”
the report said.
The AMP took issue with the report’s findings,
and, in a statement published on its website after the
report’s release, the organization’s leadership noted:
“The Krueger report from Puerto Rico said, ‘Import
costs [are] at least twice as high [in Puerto Rico] as in
neighboring islands on account of the Jones Act.’ There
is no study that supports this statement in any way,
and the Krueger report cited none. In fact, anecdotal
evidence about rates indicates that the opposite is true.
For example, one analysis shows it is 40 percent more
expensive to ship goods from the U.S. mainland on for-
eign vessels to the U.S. Virgin Islands (not subject to the
Jones Act) than on Jones Act vessels to Puerto Rico.”
Meanwhile, Crowley and other U.S. shipping com-
panies remain committed to the island’s future, Roberts
said during the hearing. With 250 employees based in
Puerto Rico, Crowley has served the market since 1954,
and occupied the 75-acre Isla Grande Terminal since
then, making it the longest continual occupant of any
Jones Act carrier in the trade. The company has more
weekly sailings and more cargo carried annually than
any other shipping line, making it the top ocean carrier
between the commonwealth and the U.S. mainland.
The consolidation of its Caribbean logistics services
into the single new facility in Guaynabo, which is about
10 minutes from the Port of San Juan, will allow Crowley
to enhance its suite of shipping and logistics solutions
for consumers and businesses, said Ayesha Diaz, general
manager of Crowley’s Caribbean logistics group.
Diaz told Seapower that the company has seen
consistent business growth in Puerto Rico since 2010,
which has allowed the company to enhance its service
portfolio and help bolster the economy by providing
new business opportunities throughout the island.
She said the company manages all types of U.S. freight
coming into San Juan, including consumer products,
pharmaceutical and retail goods.
“There is a very strong sector in the retail industry
that we have been seeing, and it has grown more every
year,” Diaz said. “In particular, we have grown dramatically in the less-than-container-load operations side in
the cargo that travels from the U.S. to Puerto Rico.” n