Oct 11, 2017

How Puerto Rico shipping traffic dropped after Hurricane Maria

Data: MarineTraffic.com; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Shipping traffic into Puerto Rico dropped off dramatically when Hurricane Maria hit the island on Sept. 20, and was slow to pick up again in the days that followed as the country scrambled to acquire relief supplies. The data comes from MarineTraffic.com, which tracks the position of maritime traffic in real time.

What you're seeing: When the traffic resumed, most of the ships docked in San Juan. But that doesn't necessarily mean relief supplies are making it to the island. The shipping traffic includes all kinds of ships — anything from cargo vessels to tankers, passenger boats or tug boats.

The back story: The Trump administration weathered criticism in the crucial few days following the storm for not waiving the Jones Act, a 1920s law requiring ships carrying goods within the United States to be built, owned and operated by U.S. citizens. The administration waived the Jones Act on Sept. 28, but reports suggest it hasn't had the desired effect of encouraging foreign ships to bring supplies to Puerto Rico.

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