October 02, 2017 | Industry Insights, Shipping

Jones Act Temporarily Waived as Puerto Rico Is Ravaged in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

Share This:

Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with a vengeance and caused unprecedented devastation to the entire island, destroying roads, structures and its electrical grid. To help get desperately needed supplies to the island, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), upon the request of the governor of Puerto Rico, this past Thursday waived the enforcement of the Jones Act for 10 days to allow foreign ships to carry aid to the U.S. territory.

The waiver is “intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” said DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke. The DHS had also issued a temporary Jones Act waiver to help facilitate deliveries of petroleum products to hurricane-impacted areas along the Gulf and East coasts. That waiver expired on Sept. 22.

Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between American ports travel on U.S.-flagged ships with American crews. As we noted noted in a previous article, the Jones Act has been on Senator John McCain’s (AZ-R) radar to repeal for some time.

How effective the Jones Act waiver will be for Puerto Rico in getting much-needed supplies is up for debate. Jones Act carriers and shipping executives say there is ample humanitarian aid reaching the ravaged island on U.S.-flagged ships and foreign tankers are already allowed to supply fuel. The issue is a logistics problem and lies with the lack of ground transportation to distribute the goods. Thomas Allegretti, chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, which did not support the waiver for Puerto Rico, said, “What we are seeing clearly on the ground is thousands of cargo containers piling up at the port of San Juan, filled with essential goods that the Puerto Rican people desperately need, but not nearly enough trucks and clear roads to distribute the goods. So, the problem at the port is a lack of trucks and delivery routes, not a lack of vessels.”

Officials at Crowley Maritime Corp., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based cargo shipping company that benefits from the Jones Act, in an article in the Wall Street Journal, stated: “For some days in serving Puerto Rico we have been searching for where we might need additional help in the supply chain and we haven’t identified anything related to the Jones Acts.” The company said it had 4,100 containers with both relief supplies and commercial cargo waiting at the seaport on Thursday. In addition, another carrier, TOTE Maritime, said earlier this week it had more than 3,000 shipping containers stacked up at the port awaiting transport.

The administration also sent Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan to the island Thursday to ramp up relief efforts.

About Roanoke Trade

Roanoke Trade specializes in insuring the transportation industry, offering end-to-end insurance solutions that are tailored to your specific exposures. For information about our insurance products and services, please contact one of our Roanoke Trade professionals at 1-800-ROANOKE (800-762-6653).

Share This:

Related


Leadership Excellence: Karen Rzeszutko Represents Roanoke on USCIB Board

We are excited to share that Karen Rzeszutko, President of Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) for the 2024-2026 term. This appointment recognizes Karen’s outstanding leadership and her significant contributions to the industry. The USCIB, a prominent organization dedicated to […]

Corporate Communiqué, Industry Insights

Cargo Theft Holiday Advisory – Preparations to Secure Your Supply Chain

Cargo thieves are poised to strike as you look forward to relaxing by the lake or beach during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Cargo theft increases during extended holiday weekends because cargo is typically left unattended for longer periods. However, you can stay ahead of these opportunistic thieves and reduce exposure by following these best […]

Cargo Insurance, Industry Insights

Unlocking Success: The Key Elements of Carrier Vetting and Managing Liability

By: Andrew Johnson, Account Executive, Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. The freight brokerage industry as we know it today began in the late 1970s and early 1980s, around the time of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Before the passage of this landmark legislation, regulations were too restrictive to make freight brokerage a viable business segment. […]

Industry Insights

Professional Partnerships

Roanoke is the leading provider of insurance and surety solutions for transportation and logistics providers. In fact, we are recognized as the most reliable source for U.S. customs bonds.

Contact

If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact with our team.

800-762-6653

US CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

1501 E. Woodfield Road

Suite 400W

Schaumburg, IL 60173


CANADA CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

390 Bay Street

Munich Re Centre, 22nd Floor

Toronto, ON M5H 2Y2

Solutions that Go the Distance.

© 2024 Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. A Munich Re company

Better Business Bureau logoCoverholder at Lloyd's logo