Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime has sent 18 Jones Act petroleum vessels to discharge gasoline and diesel into Florida ports in the coming few days.
The mobilization responds to fuel shortages caused by the evacuation of millions of Floridians ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The vessels include Crowley’s MT Ohio and Florida, which were among the first tankers to bring fuel into the Port of Tampa on Tuesday along with MT West Virginia in Port Everglades.
Fuel is being discharged to all of the major terminals in Florida – Jacksonville, Port Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale in addition to Tampa.
The vessels will be bringing a combined volume 2.75 million barrels (115 million gallons) of gasoline and 500,000 barrels (21 million gallons) of diesel fuel within an eight-day period.
Although the vessels began discharging as soon as local fuel depot and port authorities gave the green light, “berth availability is limited even when fully operational,” Rob Grune, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services, said.
“As a result, we expect that fully loaded vessels will experience significant delays waiting in line to discharge,” Grune added.
The Jones Act prohibits the transportation of cargo between points in the US, either directly or via a foreign port, or for any part of the transportation, in any vessel other than a vessel that has a coastwise endorsement.