(Jacksonville, Fla.; Jan. 18, 2006) – More than 300 Crowley and Toyota Logistics Services employees gathered to celebrate the shipment of the 150,000th Toyota vehicle to Puerto Rico from Jacksonville. The ceremony and luncheon took place at Crowley’s Talleyrand terminal yesterday where the Toyotas are regularly loaded onto large ocean-going barges for the trip to San Juan.
Beginning with their first shipments of cars from the U.S. to Puerto Rico in 1992, Crowley has been the exclusive carrier of Toyota vehicles to Puerto Rico. The company has nine triple-deck barges, some of which are more than two football fields long, which are towed by large ocean-going tugs between Jacksonville and San Juan.
The vessels and Crowley’s vehicle handling processes continually meet Toyota’s strict standards for quality.
Crowley reinvests profits to maintain and enhance the car decking on its vessels such that all have padding, alignment lines, and fresh paint. The padding on posts and rails and alignment lines were added to minimize the potential for damage to vehicles during the loading and unloading process. The vessels are equipped to accommodate between 200 and 400 vehicles per voyage.
Crowley employs a dedicated team of auto checkers and traffic specialists to handle vehicle shipments. The terminals entire traffic department plays a large role in ensuring that load lists are correct and documentation is complete.
Because of Crowley’s attention to detail, the company has been awarded the prestigious Toyota Logistics Services Award of Excellence in Customer Service for the past four years.
“Last year marked a record in our 13 year partnership with Crowley,” said Bob Wade, corporate manager, international logistics. “Toyota’s market share in Puerto Rico was 31 percent and we couldn’t have done it without you. We thank Crowley and congratulate you for your continued commitment to excellence.”
Speaking of excellence, Wade continued by congratulating Crowley employees for achieving record low damages in shipping Toyota vehicles to Puerto Rico in 2005. Noting that damage frequency and severity had dropped to a fourth of the levels in 2002, Wade said, You did this because you care about how you handle our products, because you care about how you do your jobs, because you are professionals. We at Toyota recognize this, and we thank you for it.
“We are proud to have been Toyota’s partner to Puerto Rico for the past 13 years,” said Rob Grune, Crowley senior vice president and general manager of Puerto Rico and Caribbean services. “They take quality and service very seriously as do we, making it a healthy partnership for all who are involved.”
Toyota established operations in the U.S. in 1957 and currently operates eight US manufacturing plants, with two more under construction. There are over 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships located in 50 US states and there are 31 in Puerto Rico including 24 Toyota, six Scion and one Lexus dealership. Selling over 2 million vehicles in the US in 2004, Toyota has a direct US investment of over $13 billion and direct US employment of over 31,000. According to a 2005 Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated over 386,000 U.S. jobs – including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and supplier employees. In addition to its cars shipped within the continental U.S. and into Puerto Rico, Toyota ships approximately 11,000 vehicles per year to Hawaii as well.
Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in 1892, is primarily a family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of four operating lines of business: Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services and Marine Services. Other services provided within these business lines include contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.
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