After missing a ferry reservation deadline, United Parcel Services (UPS) plans to use a tug and barge to deliver packages to Nantucket this summer.
UPS was forced to find another way to make deliveries to the island after failing to book ferries in January, and further discussions with 41 North Offshore LLC could be the solution, according to WBZ.
UPS will apparently transport packages from New Bedford to Nantucket if the Steamship Authority approves the route. The board is due to consider the proposal at a meeting on April 19.
If approved, UPS could begin delivering packages to Nantucket as early as May.
The Nantucket Current reports that UPS does not have guaranteed ferry reservations for 150 to 200 of its summer trips to the island, but 70 trips with 41 ships from North Offshore could cover that gap.
Located on Fish Island in New Bedford, 41 North Offshore provides tug and barge cargo service in waters from Maine to New Jersey. Company co-owner John Mikutowicz told Martha’s Vineyard Times that the barge they will be using will be towed rather than pushed, and will be 130 feet long and 40 feet wide. The company has three vessels available for the partnership.
According to an earlier WBZ report, the Steamship Authority sends reservation forms to shipping companies like UPS in the fall, before ferry reservations open to the public in January. UPS has not made its reservation at this time, so the ferries are filled to capacity.
Once the mistake was realized, Nantucket businesses feared they would not get the materials needed for the summer tourist season. A store owner told WBZ that UPS deliveries make up 75% of their shipments, with deliveries typically appearing in the store twice a day.
According to Nantucket-ma.gov, about 14,255 people live on the island year-round, but the summer months bring a population of at least 80,000.
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