Horizon Lines, Inc. announced that it would add regularly scheduled vessel container service between Tampa, Florida and Puerto Rico. A vessel call at the Port of Tampa will be added to the carrier’s Gulf Express Service (GAX), currently operating a fixed-day, bi-weekly schedule between Houston, Texas and San Juan. The Tampa service is scheduled to commence with the arrival of the Horizon Discovery on October 4th.
The addition of a port call in Tampa provides new options for customers located in west and central Florida, while continuing to provide fast and reliable fixed-day vessel service between Houston and San Juan. The Tampa call is expected to begin contributing to the company’s earnings within the first few months of service.
“We are excited to add this new dimension to our market-leading services for both the US Gulf and Florida customer base,” said Chuck Raymond, Chairman, President and CEO of Horizon Lines, Inc. “We continue to find innovative and cost-effective ways to add value for our customers. We teamed with Tampa Port Authority, Ports America, the terminal services provider, and the International Longshoremen’s Association leadership to create an excellent new opportunity for Puerto Rico shippers in central Florida.”
Richard Wainio, Tampa Port Director and Chief Executive said of the new service, “We look forward to welcoming Horizon Lines to Tampa, adding to our container growth momentum and enhancing service to our port’s expanding business community.”
“Horizon Lines’ reputation for quality service in the Puerto Rico trade is unsurpassed,” noted Stephen Edwards, President and Chief Executive of Ports
America. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them in Tampa, where we are projecting significant growth over the next few years.”
The expanded biweekly Gulf Express port rotation will be Houston, Tampa, San Juan. The Gulf Express complements the carrier’s direct US east coast Puerto Rico services offered from Jacksonville (twice weekly) and Elizabeth, NJ (once weekly).