Fight to Keep The Jones Act


There are examples of ships that has lasted a long time in active service and there are examples of ships that suffer severe damages at a very early stage. The fact remains that older vessels are more prone to damages and accidents due to corrosion and/or fatigue, or due to machinery and and equipment failures than newer ships.

It is a fact that the average age of US flag ships are very high by international standard and there are no reason to believe that these ships are better designed, built, equipped or maintained than ships under other registers it is natural to compare with.

It should thus NOT be any surprise that incidents, accidents and near misses happen as frequently, if not more so on US flag ships as on ships under other White listed registers:


But what is not being widely reported is that a number of the Jones Act (cargo) companies currently have newbuilding programs that will replace a good portion of the oldest tonnage (i.e., steam ships). Pasha, Crowley, Matson all have ships under construction. Tote brought 2 into service within the last few years. Not to mention the numerous tankers have been delivered in the last 10 or so years. The status quo is changing.


The CG has gotten tougher on enforcement, they’ve put out the word to the companies that the older ships are going to be looked at a lot closer.


Yes the CG is getting tougher which is not necessarily a bad thing but I think the real driver is the 2020 IMO fuel regulations with regards to sulfur content not to mention the current ECA requirements. You just can’t run those old steamship on ULSD and expect to make money.


Does the safety and comfort of the seafarers happen to be ANY part their calculations??


Sure so long as it doesn’t effect profits business models in the USA at the moment don’t favor the workers in any way it’s all profit driven suck every penny you can out and leave your work force high and dry.


It may not have applied specifically to the 2020 fuel regs (don’t know) but in the past there would have been more sympathy in general towards getting waivers for owners of older ships, now I hear there is much greater reluctance to “grandfather” ships in when new regs come on line. That’s part of the way they apply pressure to owners, before it was OK, fine, now it’s “no mas”.

This is from 2012 - ECA Compliance Waiver Granted to US Shipowner TOTE

“This is the first permit issued under the Annex VI, Regulation 3 program, and it is tangible evidence that when committed organizations join together, innovative solutions can result,” said Phil Morrell, Vice President of Marine and Terminal Operations at TOTE.


The waivers were issued to give Tote time to retrofit their 2003 built Orca class RO-RO’s to operate on LNG. Loss of the El Faro caused a setback in that project. They were going to use it to fill in so as to allow those ships to go to the shipyard for the conversion work.

Matson took a different tack and opted to install scrubbers on their D7 class ships. (Horizon started the work and Matson followed through on it.)


Found this on the Regs thread:

All vessels powered by propulsion boilers (steamships) which were not originally designed for continued operation on marine distillate fuel or natural gas are exempt from the ECA’s sulfur requirementsbeginning on 1 January 2013 through January 1, 2020(MEPC.202(62)).U.S. flagged Great Lakes steamships(operatingexclusively on the Great Lakes)have been exempted by the EPA through 2025. USCG Marine Inspectorsor Port State Control Officers will notcheck for ECA compliance onboard U.S. or foreign flagged steamships during the interim period prior to 1 January 2013.


Are the same number of old buckets being scrapped??


I am guessing it will not be a one for one. I think more ships will depart than will be delivered. That said, the ones Crowley are building will replace/augment the tug & barge setup they currently have.


That’s not the Jones Act’s fault though.