Horizon Lines Announces Sale of Some Vessels, End of Services to Puerto Rico

 

December 2014

 

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Horizon Lines issued separate announcements Nov. 11 that affect nine SIU-crewed ships currently sailing in the Jones Act trade. The company is ending its service to Puerto Rico and, pending regulatory approval, plans to sell its Alaska operations to Matson and its Hawaii operations to the Pasha Group.

 

While the decision about the Puerto Rico run will remove two vessels (Horizon Navigator and Horizon Trader) from service either by the end of 2014 or in early 2015, the other transactions may take several months or up to one year. Most or all of the seven ships involved in those sales likely will continue sailing in the interim and still will carry at least partial SIU crews afterward.

 

Horizon’s sales also involve other operations and assets. At press time, their effect on SIU shore gangs  as still being determined.

 

As for the vessels, the SIU has contracts both with Pasha and Matson. The union will continue providing mariners in all three shipboard departments of the vessels being acquired by Pasha: the Horizon Enterprise, Horizon Pacific, Horizon Reliance and Horizon Spirit. The SIU represents steward department members on Matson ships; Matson is purchasing the Horizon Anchorage, Horizon Kodiak and Horizon Tacoma.

 

SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker said in a written communication sent to Horizon ships the union had scheduled a meeting with Horizon Lines “to address all aspects of this news, including the effects on the membership.”

 

He added, “It is worth mentioning the actions taken by Horizon Lines are not a reflection of any shortcoming in the shipboard or shore-side work performed by the SIU membership. It has been common knowledge that the company has had financial struggles in recent years…. We believe the company would not have been able to sustain operations as long as they did without your skill. We thank you for your professionalism and will keep you updated as the company makes the aforementioned transitions.”

 

In a news release, Horizon Lines said it was ending its Puerto Rico service “due to continuing losses without the prospect of future profitability.”

 

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