Ocean cargo calls to even Cuban playing field
In the wake of recent announcements that eight U.S. airports have been permitted to offer select chartered flights to Cuba, United Americas Shipping Services (UASS) is asking the U.S. government to open up ocean lanes to the country.
"The recent announcement ... highlights the preferential treatment given air over ocean passenger service," Daniel Berrebi, chairman of the UASS, said in a statement. "There is a need and a desire for a ferry service to Cuba, and it is fundamental to this country's values that people be allowed that choice and that the government does not favor one element of the transportation industry over another."
The Treasury Department is currently processing license requests from Berrebi, among others, ferry operations. The organization contends that there are very good reasons to allow ships to sail into Cuba.
"It is significantly cheaper, it is more comfortable and pleasurable, it is a preferable form of travel for the elderly, the infirm and family groups. Also, a ferry service is a vastly cheaper way for people to bring supplies authorized by U.S. law to relatives in Cuba," said Joseph Hinson, president of the UASS.