March 7 - Liberty Global Logistics (LGL) of Lake Success, New York, has held a naming ceremony at the Port of Beaumont, Texas for the newest US-flag ro-ro ship, Liberty Passion.

Liberty Passion was delivered to its owners in January 2017 and is on its maiden voyage.

The US-flag pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) is loading military and other commercial cargo in Beaumont, as well as other US ports, for delivery to the Mediterranean and Middle East for LGL's customers and to support US armed forces overseas.

The vessel was designed to transport commercial vehicles, rolling stock and project cargo, as well as military wheeled and containerised equipment.

LGL advises that when used to carry commercial cargoes, the vessel is capable of carrying up to around 6,500 cars on 12 decks and has a total deck area of approximately 580,000 sq ft (54,000 sq m).

Liberty Passion is enrolled in the 60-vessel US Maritime Security Program (MSP), a US Government programme that helps ensure that privately owned US-flag vessels with high military utility are available at all times to support US armed forces overseas.

Since 2009, MSP carriers have moved over 90 percent of the cargo needed to support US military operations and rebuilding programmes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Philip J. Shapiro, who is chairman and ceo of LGL, as well as president and ceo of Liberty Maritime Corporation, the vessel manager said: "We welcome Liberty Passion to the Liberty family, joining Liberty Promise and Liberty Pride in providing around the world service to US armed forces and LGL's commercial customers."

Robert Wellner, president of LGL said: "We are looking forward to having our newly expanded ro-ro service with three modern US-flag PCTC vessels which will increase our ability to serve both our government and commercial customers in the global marketplace."