The US flagged pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) will be loading military and other commercial cargo in Beaumont, as well as other US ports, for delivery to the Mediterranean and Middle East for Liberty’s customers and to support US armed forces overseas.
The vessel was welcomed to the US at a ceremony attended by US secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, and Becky Ames, the mayor of Beaumont, along with other government officials and customers.
The vessel has been designed to transport commercial vehicles, rolling stock and project cargo, as well as military wheeled and containerised equipment such as M-ATVs, HUMVEEs, MRAPs, armoured personnel carriers, tanks, helicopters and unit equipment.
When used for commercial cargo, the vessel can carry 6,500 cars on 12 decks with a total area of approximately 176,784 sq.m.
The Liberty Passion was delivered in January and has been enrolled in the 60-vessel US Maritime Security Program (MSP). The MSP ensures privately-owned US flagged vessels are available to support the country’s armed forces overseas.
Since 2009, MSP carriers have moved over 90% of the cargo needed to support US military operations and rebuilding programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Philip Shapiro, chairman and CEO of Liberty, said: “We are very proud to welcome the Liberty Passion to the Liberty family, joining the Liberty Promise and Liberty Pride in providing around-the-world service to US armed forces and LGL’s commercial customers.”
The company also operates the Liberty Eagle bulk carrier.