February 10 - National Shipping of America (NSA) has partnered with Rickmers-Linie (America) to provide more global connections to Puerto Rico shippers and expand breakbulk services to the island.

NSA operates a fortnightly service - the Isla Verde Express - between Houston, Port Everglads and Puerto Rico, deploying the 13,800 dwt multipurpose vessel National Glory, which is constructed to carry containers, breakbulk and project cargoes, both above and below deck.

Rickmers-Linie operates a ten-vessel round-the-world Pearl String Service, which connects 16 ports in Europe, Asia and the Americas and calls fortnightly at Houston, where cargo destined for Puerto Rico will relay directly to NSA's vessel with minimal dwell time.

"Puerto Rico is one of the most densely populated islands in the world, and is greatly dependent on ocean services to provide everything from foodstuffs to project cargo to oversize materials and equipment," said Torey Presti, president of NSA. "Access to a global vessel network with breakbulk capabilities is especially beneficial to support the unique needs of an island trade."

Robert Sappio, president and ceo of Rickmers-Linie (America) also commented on the partnership: "By connecting our Pearl String Service with NSA's Isla Verde Express, we greatly expand options for Puerto Rico shippers to source goods from virtually anywhere in the world."

Rickmers-Linie will also serve as general sales agent (GSA) for NSA in North America.