Horizon Lines

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Horizon Lines, Inc.
Type Publicly traded
Founded 1956
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Services Container shipping, terminals, and ferry.
Operating income USD 1026 million (2011)[1]
Total assets USD 640 million (2011)[1]
Employees 1,635 (2011)[1]
Website www.horizonlines.com

Horizon Lines, Inc. is an American domestic ocean shipping and logistics company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the largest Jones Act maritime shipping and logistics company and accounts for approximately 37% of all US container shipments linking the continental United States to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.[2] Under the Jones Act maritime shipments between US ports is restricted to US-built, owned, and flagged vessels operated by predominantly US-citizen crews. The company originated from Sea-Land Service, Inc. The domestic liner operations of Sea-Land were sold in 2003 and have since operated under the name Horizon Lines. Horizon became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005.[3]

Scope of Operations[edit]

Horizon owns a fleet of 13 Jones Act container ships [4] and approximately 31,000 cargo containers. The company also operates cargo terminals in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Approximately 150 port calls are made each year in Tacoma, Washington for service between Alaska or Hawaii.[5] Until November 2011, the company ran trans-Pacific service to Guam and China.[6] It also contracts for terminal services in seven ports in the continental United States. The primary customers are consumer and industrial products companies, as well as various agencies of the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense and the U.S. Postal Service.

Horizon has met with criticism within the investor community due to the age of some of its vessels. In the world fleet container ships go to the scrap yard at age 28 while Horizon still maintains C6 and C7 Lancer Class steam powered vessels.[7] One such vessel, SS Horizon Discovery (ex-American Liberty), was built in 1968 for the now defunct United States Lines.[8]

Dept of Justice Controversy and Litigation[edit]

In May 2011 the US Dept. of Justice reduced the fine levied the previous month after the company pleaded guilty to price fixing in the Puerto Rico market from USD 45m to USD 15m.[9][10] The reduction was attributed to pressure from bondholders and the possibility that Horizon would declare bankruptcy after losing a contract with Danish shipping group Maersk Line. In October 2011, the company completed a USD 653m refinancing move to avoid bankruptcy. On October 20, 2011 the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading of Horizon’s stock because it had fallen below its USD 15m continued listing standard for average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30-day trading period.[11] The company stock currently trades on the OTCQB market. In November 2011, the company agreed to settle with the remaining shippers who opted out of the "Puerto Rico direct purchaser antitrust class action settlement" for USD $13.75m [12] 28 January 2012, the company reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to plead guilty to two counts of providing falsified oil record-keeping docments from a vessel in the US West Coast-Hawaii service. The company paid a fine of $1.0 million and donated an additional $500,000 to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The company agreed to be placed on probation for three years and institute an environmental compliance plan.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "2011 Form 10-K, Horizon Lines, Inc.". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ Booth, Jonathan (9 May 2011). "Why Horizon Lines Should Declare Bankruptcy". Seeing Alpha. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Horizon History". Horizon Lines. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Horizon Lines - Vessels". Horizon Lines Inc. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Port of Tacoma News". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Horizon Lines to Discontinue Trans-Pacific FSX Service". 25 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Colton, Tim (5 March 2005). "Maritime News: Why Invest in Horizon Lines?". ColtonCompany.com. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sun Shipbuilding, Chester, PA". ShipBuildingHistory.com. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Puerto Rico trade lines face class action suit". MarineLog.com. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Horizon Lines' reduced fine eases bankruptcy threat". Reuters. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Horizon Lines Avoids Bankruptcy, But Delisted by NYSE". Hawaii Free Press. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Horizon Lines offers shippers a $13.75M settlement". Advantage Business Media. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Horizon Lines Reaches Resolution on Environmental Record-Keeping Incident". Horizon Lines. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°00′55″N 80°49′23″W / 35.015268°N 80.822992°W / 35.015268; -80.822992