Blue Water Maritime was contacted by Stiegler Shipping of Mobile, Alabama to perform all the agent duties for the U.S. flag tug "Karen Koby" and her barge in tow the "JMC258". We also put together a stevedoring quote from Transcaribbean Maritime Corp. which is a stevedoring company that we have worked with before with very good results and fair prices. All of this was done very quickly as the charter contract had a time element with a short window and we were hired with only days to spare.
It is especially important for ship charterers to hire an agent like Blue Water Maritime when choosing the port of Ponce for a cargo operations. There are unavoidable high costs in Ponce like the the high cost of tugs, which have to steam there all the way from near Guayanilla and the unusually high cost of stevedores because the union rules in Ponce require double gangs for loading the same cargo that would only require a single gang in San Juan. Also Blue Water Maritime never adds surcharges to these fees like many other agents do and we reduce costs everywhere we can so that it is possible to operate as cost effectively as possible. We understand that the shipping business is competitive and the bottom line of our clients always comes first.
The barge had a prior job which required steel supports be installed along the port side. There wasn't time to remove those massive buttresses before they sailed and they were taking up deck space for our client's cargo. We very quickly brought a crew of welders to cut this steel free. Cranes and a scrap metal trucks were also required to remove and cart the unwieldily steel from the Ponce port authority land.
The welders cut away all the beads of welding that attached these steel supports to the deck of the barge before we could lift them off and dispose of them. It was very important that we accomplished this as fast as possible. The following short video shows the steel being lifted away and the barge being loaded using ramps fitted in place with another crane. The whole operation took less than 24 hours.
Every last space on the barge was used to load all the Duke energy trucks. More d-rings were welded on and every vehicle was securely chained down.