First UPS Truck Arrives On Nantucket By Tug & Barge

Jason Graziadei •

The first UPS truck to arrive on Nantucket by barge pulled into the harbor early Thursday morning from New Bedford, guided by the tugboat Sitka.
The new “Island Freight Line” barge transportation company launched by 41 North Offshore is UPS’ solution to its summer boat reservations debacle, when it dropped the ball on securing its normal boat tickets aboard the Steamship Authority ferries.
UPS typically sends two to three trailers to the island on a daily basis during the summer, including time-sensitive packages like medication and food, as well as the bulk of the Amazon packages destined for Nantucket.
While the Steamship was able to prioritize UPS on its waitlist and accommodate the shipping giant on most of the 150 to 200 reservations it had missed out on, the tug and barge alternative was still necessary to keep up.
41 North Offshore had a custom ramp manufactured to allow the barge to offload at the north slip of Steamboat Wharf, where the Steamship’s car ferries unload.
Island Freight Lines is a pilot program licensed by the Steamship in response to the situation, but 41 North Offshore hopes it will become a thriving freight business for commercial companies looking to get trucks, materials and other odd deliveries to the island with so much competition for space on the Steamship vessels.
The license allows it to bring its 130-foot flat, steel-deck barge called “Thing 2” to Nantucket as many as 70 times this summer.

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