Sea Star discontinuing Philly Service
Sea Star Line said it will end its service between Philadelphia and San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 22.
'The maritime community in Philadelphia has been very supportive and great to work with, but we have been unable to secure an adequate revenue stream to support this service.' said Steve Hastings, president of Sea Star.
The service called at the Port Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia.
Hastings said the company had “invested millions of dollars in this service over the last 16 months. The decision to suspend our service from Philadelphia was a very difficult one.'
Yessica Cancel, vice president at Sea Star, said ships operating in the service never reached more than about 40 percent capacity. But she said rising fuel prices had the most significant impact on the company’s decision to suspend the service, which started in April 2010. The company operates ships capable of carrying both container and roll-on/roll-off cargo.
Sea Star said that to ensure uninterrupted service for its customers, it has developed several landbridge options connecting Philadelphia to its services from Jacksonville, Fla. Cancel said it will move cargo to and from the Northeast using trucks and trains, but that transit times will be about three days longer than the direct sailings to Philadelphia.
Prior to offering its own sailings, Sea Star had chartered slots on Horizon Lines ships moving between New York and Puerto Rico, but the company does not have plans to revive that practice.
Cancel said the decision to suspend the service will not affect the frequency of service on its other services. Sea Star continues to offer service between San Juan and both Jacksonville and Port Everglades. From San Juan, it offers connecting service to St. Thomas and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.