Horizon Lines, Inc. (ticker: HRZL.PK, exchange: Pink Sheets (.PNK))
News Release -
Raymond Calls for Immediate Action on Short Sea Shipping
Horizon Lines Chairman Says the Time for Talk is Over as Nation Faces
Impending Intermodal Congestion Crisis
ORLANDO, Fla., April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Short sea shipping is a
necessary solution to the impending intermodal congestion crisis facing the
United States and the maritime industry is ready to prove it if regulatory
hurdles are overcome this year, said Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond, Chairman,
President and CEO of Horizon Lines, Inc. (NYSE: HRZ), during keynote remarks
to the JOC Short Sea Shipping Conference here this morning.
Container imports are expected to double to more than 30 million TEU next
decade, placing tremendous pressure on an already strained transportation
infrastructure. "It is no longer a question of if our nation's transport
infrastructure will start to fail, but when," Mr. Raymond said. "Short sea is
not the only answer but an answer we must explore now."
As major port gateways and the intermodal rail and highway networks that
support them become overly congested and burdened by larger vessels and
increased container traffic, short sea shipping services can move cargo from
congested ports to ready ports with available capacity. Ports in Wilmington,
N.C., Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Fla., for example, would flow freight
into the intermodal system more efficiently.
Instead of allowing highway and rail congestion to slow economic growth
and harm the environment in the United States, short sea shipping can bring
economic growth to new areas. This would add thousands of well-paid trade-
related jobs to communities hungry for growth, while at the same time
protecting the environment.
"This is sustainable development. This is the win-win," Raymond said.
"We grow the industry. We improve the economy. And we use ocean
transportation to protect the environment ... Ocean shipping continues to be
the most environmentally-sensitive and cost-efficient mode of transportation.
Let's use it."
Horizon Lines is adding new ships to its fleet this year, freeing up
vessels that could be used as early as 2008 to launch short sea shipping
services on the East and Gulf Coasts.
Lawmakers and agencies must address regulatory issues this year to allow
that to happen. In the short-term, adjustments to the Harbor Maintenance Tax
are required immediately to allow companies to start testing the short sea
market. To create a viable industry in the long-term, changes will need to be
made to Title XI and Capital Construction Fund (CCF) rules to encourage vessel
and infrastructure investment.
Mr. Raymond gave the keynote address to attendees of the annual JOC Short
Sea Shipping Conference hosted by the Journal of Commerce, a leading
transportation and logistics business publication.
About Horizon Lines
Horizon Lines, Inc. is the nation's leading Jones Act container shipping
and integrated logistics company, operating 16 U.S.-flag vessels on routes
linking the continental United States with Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto
Rico. Horizon Lines also owns Horizon Services Group, an organization with a
diversified offering of cargo management and tracking services being marketed
to shippers, carriers, and other supply chain participants. Horizon Lines,
Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HRZ.
The information contained in this press release should be read in
conjunction with our filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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SOURCE Horizon Lines, Inc.
CONTACT: Gordon Forsyth of BSY Associates Inc., +1-732-817-0400, for
Horizon Lines, Inc.