A construction company in the CNMI is venturing into the cargo business after experiencing firsthand the difficulties and the high cost of shipping material and equipment between Saipan and Tinian.
GPPC Marine LLC, through its 78-foot landing craft-style, roll-on, roll-off vessel, the MV Jayden, is currently offering cargo shipping services from Saipan to Tinian and Tinian to Saipan.
Rene Escano, operations manager of GPPC Marine, said the U.S. Coast Guard-certified MV Jayden is available for special charters at a cost of $5,000 for one way.
He said if they’re not busy with special charters, the MV Jayden and her crew operate regular shipping service between the two islands Tuesday and Thursday.
The MV Jayden, which has a 35-ton capacity, was constructed by GPPC way back in 2010 and can be considered the first commercial cargo ship built in the CNMI from bow to stern.
Escano said GPPC spent around $700,000 to build the MV Jayden and she can carry up to two 40-foot containers, or four 20-foot containers, or breakbulk cargo on its deck.
The genesis of the MV Jayden, Escano said, began when GPPC Saipan had a construction project on Tinian and saw a business opportunity if the company itself owns a cargo vessel to ship materials and equipment to and from both islands.
In the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, GPPC Marine was contracted by the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to ferry power poles and other material to Tinian to rebuild the power grid on the island.
Bridge Investment Group LLC has also been using the MV Jayden to carry materials and equipment to Tinian, where the Hong Kong-based company is building a casino resort hotel, Escano said.
Interestingly, while MV Jayden usually carries construction materials and equipment to Tinian, she will then have cattle and produce like watermelon on her decks as cargo on the way back to Saipan.
GPPC Marine can also ship cargo to Rota, but at a steeper price of $15,000 one way. Compared to Tinian’s three-and-a-half-hour voyage, going to Rota could take as much as 10-12 hours.
For more information about GPPC Marine and MV Jayden, contact Malou Roque at (670) 989-3329 or email@example.com; Ruby Traya at (670) 989-0938 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Rodante Pascua at (670) 989-3230 or email@example.com; or Jerry Araneta (670) 989-3100 (Tinian base).