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US Jones Act domestic carrier Horizon Lines has seldom been out of the news in the past few years as it battled headwinds – some would argue self-inflicted – in an endeavour to pay down debt and turn a profit.  At the end of 2014’s nine month mark Horizon was running at a cumulative net loss of $18.4m – albeit operations in the third quarter were in the black – but the tone of its commentary to the Q3 results suggested problems were brewing again.

It said: “We are experiencing increases in expenses associated with our revenue container volumes, including our vessel payroll costs and benefits, stevedoring, port charges, wharfage, inland transportation costs, and rolling stock costs, among others.”

Horizon’s Puerto Rico tradelane, where it incurred “substantial cumulative losses and negative cash flows in recent years”, appears to have been the biggest headache and, separately to the sale of its business to Matson, it has announced that it is terminating operations to San Juan after 56-years of service.


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