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Sea-Land's Average Cargo Handling Time at Puerto Nuevo, San

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Table VI-8 shows that the average cargo handling time of a large C-4JX vessel, carrying 609 containers is 20 hours, compared to 10 hours for the smaller C-2X-type vessel, carrying 225 containers. In the same time period, the larger ship handles an average of about 35 percent more containers than the smaller vessel, demonstrating the economies inherent in larger size vessels.

In 1965, over 40 percent of all oceangoing freighters were over 450 feet in length. Moreover, traffic growth signifies a shift to jumbo-size container vessels. SeaLand's 1975 container traffic will amount to almost four million tons, representing a gain of more than one hundred percent over the 1.66 million tons of 1967.44 Traffic carried by other common carriers, includ. ing TTT, Seatrain, TMT, and SACAL, also will double (ch. II). If this increase in traffic were carried by present size containerships, the terminal facilities of San Juan and other ports would be virtually choked. Consequently, fast and large containerships will be needed to hold costs and terminal utilization factors to an acceptable level; and it is expected that mammoth containers and roll-on/roll-off type vessels will be calling at San Juan, P.R. on regular schedules in the near future.45 These vessels will, of course, require

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efficient and sophisticated terminal equipment de signed to facilitate the vessels' operational needs for:

(1) Fast turn-around.
(2) Effective storage warehousing facilities.
(3) Adequacy of marshalling yard space.

(4) Ease of movement and distribution. The efficiencies of these large container vessels will depend also on an adequate pickup and delivery feeder systems, the continued cooperation between carriers and industry and the influence of enlightened regulation, to reduce the average container turnaround time.

(2) Distribution Patterns.—The new concepts of large scale container movements are bringing about changes in the voyage and land distribution patterns of Puerto Rico's transportation system. As previously indicated, the efficiencies of containerized operations will increase container traffic (chart VI-2) and the es. tablishment of new patterns of service and surface distribution will be important. In particular, the necessity for high capital investments, rising costs and the economics of transportation will demand a high concentration of cargo through a few or one modern high density terminal (load center) on the Island with overland distribution to and from points located within a 200 mile radius of the load center.46 This future concentration of traffic can provide lower unit costs not only on the ocean transportation but also on overland trucking routes up to 200 miles from the terminal.47 Instead of containerships going where the cargo is, in the near future, trailers, acting as satellites of the parent ships

48 McKinsey Co., Inc., Management Consultants, op. cit.,

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14 This analysis focuses on Sea-Land because it is the dominant carrier with specific plans for construction of the new jumbo size container vessels. This forecast would, of course, apply equally to the operations of Seatrain, TMT, and SACAL as they also join in the trend toward larger and faster lift.on/lift-off, roll-on/roll-off type vessels. As previously indicated, TTT has already moved in this direction with the SS Ponce de Leon.

15 In addition, there is a trend toward: (1) Specialized pallet ships; (2) bulk carriers with integral unloading gear for moving wheat, rice, salt, cement, ores, lumber, lime, sulphur, coal, etc., even though a large number of carriers are relying on shoreside cranes; (3) multiple-hulled catamaran. type vessels for rapid transit of trailerships or rheeled vehicles to replace roll.on/roll-off vessels; and (4) small hydrofoils in short-range trades.

41 Ibid


docking as such a load center, will pickup or deliver the traffic within prescribed operating distances.

(3) San Juan as a Load Center.Considering that Puerto Rico is a relatively small Island, only 100 miles long and 35 miles wide, and that Ponce and Mayagüez are barely 45 and 70 miles from San Juan, the principle of one load center with subsequent overland trucking service to and from smaller ports and inland communi. ties is particularly apropos to the port of San Juan (Puerto Nuevo). In this respect, the port of San Juan will have a unique opportunity to stimulate the revolution in sea and land transport and the new qualities emerging in transportation service. 48

Puerto Nuevo's facilities make this terminal an excellent container load center for re-distribution of high density container movements throughout the Island.

But, as previously indicated, this new sea and land transportation picture of Puerto Rico will require ag. gressive and enlightened support for adequate terminal facilities and harbor development, including deeper navigation channels, ship anchorages, larger berthing and marshalling yard spaces, more warehouses, and efficient trucking service.

Today, Sea-Land provides direct vessel service to Ponce once a month, generally resorting to substituted overland service from San Juan the rest of the month to distribute cargo for Ponce and surrounding communities. In 1967, this substituted service cargo amounted to approximately 112,000 tons, or 11 percent of the total traffic landed at San Juan by that carrier. The direct service to Ponce is provided by a C-2 type vessel,49 which docks at San Juan first and then is sent around the Island, stopping at Mayagüez enroute. The vessel docks at berths 3 or 4 at Ponce. It usually spends approximately 10 hours per visit, offloading about some 900 tons of general cargo 50 and loading about 500 tons of outbound canned tunafish, clothing, linen, shoes, and candies, mainly for transport to the New York market. In 1967, Sea-Land's direct service moved only 14,000 tons of cargo through this terminal.51 Motorships which calls weekly at berth 1 handled approximately 150 to 200 automobiles per visit. In 1967, this traffic amounted to only 6,000 tons. GPRL also calls weekly, averaging approximately 13 hours at berth per visit, and offloads mainly breakbulk cargo for consignees located in Ponce. This traffic amounted to 85,000 tons in 1967. Lykes Bros., which docks at berth No. 4, averaged approxi. mately 18 hours of berthing time per visit on 26 calls per year. This carrier transported approximately 48,500 tons to and from this pier in 1967.

The Ponce Cement Plant, located in Ponce, ships large quantities of cement in its own vessel, a selfpropelled vessel of about 4,000 tons, to consignees in St. Thomas, St. Croix, and other small ports in the Caribbean. The foreign carriers calling at the municipal pier include Royal Netherlands Lines, which loads coffee and citron for Europe on a bi-monthly schedule; Nippon Yusen Kaisha, (K Line) which handles general cargo on a bimonthly schedule; and, approximately 11 small schooners which haul cement and lime from Ponce to the Virgin Islands. There were no figures available with which to analyze the terminal utilization at Ponce or compare its efficiencies with those of terminals at San Juan. Based on the tonnage carried by domestic offshore carriers, the facilities on the four

3. Port of Ponce


a. Traffic and Commerce

The harbor of Ponce is on the south coast of Puerto Rico, 32 miles east of the southwest corner (chart VI1). The deep-water terminal facility at Ponce, which is owned by the municipality, consists of a municipal pier almost entirely covered by a transit shed. The terminal includes four berths, which were used by Sea-Land, GPRL, Motorships, and Lykes in 1967. The terminal is used by Sea-Land, TMT, Seatrain, and SACAL to accommodate container pools. The 1965 total traffic through this facility amounted to 504,322 tons, a 30 per. cent decline over the 715,800 tons of a year earlier. In fiscal years 1966–67, a total of 277 American seagoing ships visited Ponce. b. Berthing Facilities

Of the 504,000 tons of dry cargo that moved through the terminal at Ponce in 1965, 153,000 tons were transported by domestic offshore common carriers including Sea-Land, GPRL, Lykes, and Motorships. Bull Lines discontinued service to this port in 1962.

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19 Sea-Land uses the SS Azalea City, SS Mayagüez, and SS Bienville, on direct calls to Ponce.

50 This general cargo is further distributed by pickup and delivery service to consignees in Ponce, Coano, Santa bella, Arroyo, Guayama, Adjuntas, Guanica, and Lajas.

61 In 1967, Sea-Land's total traffic to this area consisted of 154,000 tons, 14,000 of which were transported by direct vessel calls; 112,000 tons transported southbound by overland substituted service from San Juan; and, 28,000 tons transported northbound by overland substituted service to San Juan, and thence by vessel to ports on the U.S. mainland.

18 As indicated in chapter III section C. Puerto Rico's road system is being improved and will facilitate the proposition of a single load center.

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Municipal Terminal, Ponce, P.R. This terminal is owned and operated by the City of Ponce.


berths handled only 154,000 tons during 1967.52 The total domestic offshore traffic moving through the facil. ity at Ponce, therefore, was relatively low.

4. Port of Mayagüez a. Traffic and Commerce

Mayagüez Bay, an open roadstead located at about the center of the west coast of Puerto Rico (chart VI-1), is a good harbor through which there are sev. eral channels of 30 feet or more. The facilities at this port were used by some 250 American vessels during the year ending June 30, 1967. The tonnage moving through Mayagüez amounted to about 241,162 short tons, a 7 percent decline over the 258,764 tons of the previous fiscal year. This reduction in traffic was due primarily to the tremination of Alcoa's service to and from Mayagüez. In contrast, San Juan's traffic was some 2.8 million short tons during the same period. b. Berthing Facilities

Chart VI-6 illustrates the location of the Mayagüez terminal, which is owned and operated by the Commonwealth's Ports Authority and provides berthing facilities for two large oceangoing vessels. The marginal berth, which is 1,130 feet long, includes six transit sheds providing 117,150 square feet of useable space. This is the only deep-water dry cargo facility available at this port.

Of the 240,000 short tons of dry cargo handled through Mayagüez in 1967, 113,000 tons were transported by common carriers including Lykes, GPRL, Sea-Land, and Seatrain. In that year, Lykes Bros. called on a biweekly schedule from Gulf ports (Lake Charles, La., and Galveston, and Port Arthur, Tex.) and offloaded 25,634 tons of breakbulk cargo including rice, flour, grease, beans, onions, animal feed, and lard. It loaded only 16 tons of canned tuna, shoes, and other cargo for the return haul to Houston, Tex. GPRL, which called biweekly, also from Gulf ports, offloaded 15,480 tons of breakbulk general cargo including foods and raw materials, and loaded 14,034 tons of canned tuna for the return haul. Sea-Land called at Mayagüez approximately once a month in 1967 and handled approximately 57,000 tons of cargo at this facility. In 1967, AUT called direct about five to six times offloading approximately 1,400 tons of cargo, primarily automobiles. The foreign ships calling at Mayagüez include the K Line, which hauls lumber from British Columbia

This terminal is owned and operated by the Puerto Rico Ports


on four to five visits per year, and Nieves Hermanos which calls approximately three to four times per year with lumber from Honduras.

As in the case of Ponce, Sea-Land serves Mayagüez also by substituted overland service from San Juan (about 54,000 tons in 1967) and maintains a mar. shalling yard adjacent to the pier for a container pool. Seatrain serves the port of Mayagüez only by substituted land service from San Juan. These carriers maintain a truck terminal adjacent to the pier.

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1. General

As previously indicated, one of the most important factors in an efficient system of transport in the Puerto Rican trade is the adequacy of warehousing facilities for the storage of cargoes. The total useable private and public warehouse space in San Juan, the center of

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