US needs 70,000 more mariners?


#1

cpt.Paddy here with another article

This article doesn’t add up for me, how could we need more jobs by 2020 but be losing more and more U.S flagged ships

Please read and help me better understand.


#2

World War III. It’s the next all out slugfest coming soon in 2019. By 2020 we’ll need every able bodied patriot supporting the sealift. Buy war bonds! In reality, a lot of us here have read the article too and we’re also not sure how they added up that number.


#3

Homer Simpson math


#4

[QUOTE=cpt.Paddy;182702]https://news.usni.org/2016/03/22/u-s-facing-looming-shortage-of-merchant-mariners

cpt.Paddy here with another article

This article doesn’t add up for me, how could we need more jobs by 2020 but be losing more and more U.S flagged ships

Please read and help me better understand.[/QUOTE]

its all BS. MARAD has become a lobbyist for competing maritime interests, mostly foreign ones. They don’t do their own research or try to manage the best value for the US. There is no current or future mariner shortage, it’s just a convenient argument from industry to bring more ships under US flag from foreign owners(MSP). They take industry’s comments at face value, and not surprisingly, industry wants to be paid stipends of ever increasing amounts or the US will be conquered by folks who somehow would be able to get more sealift than we could. Arguing that we’ll need more mariners means more ships from foreign owners under US flag to make them (and more stipends). All false. DOD seems to enjoy playing along, yet has had more than enough sealift for two wars, multiple fronts and sustainment of the globally deployed forces everywhere else without anyone breaking out of liner service or a full mob of the RRF or special licensing dispensations to. Increase mariner pools – so what shortfall? But they all feel over a barrel by these foreign owners who won’t stay without more and more money, so isn’t that proof that they should recommending doubling down on Jones Act fleets and ween off the MSP? Which would also help domestic shipbuilding and repair capabilities, jobs, etc… Best value for US.

From article:
Jaenichen said, “The stipend [to American ship owners] is the only place to go” to keep the U.S.-flagged fleet in operation. The administration has asked for $3.1 million per ship as a stipend. He said industry estimates that it cost $4.6 million more to operate an American ship over an international competitor last year, and the stipend this year would be $5 million.
“Industry has told us that is the right number. he entire global industry is losing money.” He added later in answer to a question that this loss of business is the prime reason American shippers either scrap vessels or reflag them. “If they are losing money, they are not going to stay” in the Maritime Security Program, which provides the stipends for up to 60 “commercially viable, military useful, privately-owned U.S.-flag vessels and crews operating in international trade.”


#5

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;182703]World War III. It’s the next all out slugfest coming soon in 2019. By 2020 we’ll need every able bodied patriot supporting the sealift. Buy war bonds! [/QUOTE]

can you even try to imagine if we had to attempt to mass emergency build merchant vessels again today like in 1940? NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!

In reality, a lot of us here have read the article too and we’re also not sure how they added up that number.

of course there is no way to support that number and this is a very blatant and transparent attempt for the maritime schools (especially KP) and as Jamesbrown states for foreign shipowners to get more money from the Congress under MSP…ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL!


#6

I got the impression that it wasn’t the industry that was going to need 70,000+ by 2020 but that the national security infrastructure was going to need to have a reserve of at least 70,000 merchant mariners standing by (in case of sealift crisis like 1990) by 2020. Maybe I read it wrong, I don’t know. I guess the difference doesn’t really matter because how can you have a reserve of any amount of merchant mariners if they’re not employed? That’s how they maintain their credentials!


#7

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;182703]World War III. It’s the next all out slugfest coming soon in 2019. By 2020 we’ll need every able bodied patriot supporting the sealift. [/QUOTE]

WWIII? They better plan on using motorboats because it will be over before we can raise steam on a RRF ship.

Of course all the defense parasites will need ships to haul DoD cargo to their contract sites (assuming we “win”) but they will use FoC ships so this sky is falling claim to need mariners is just one more MARAD scam to fleece the American taxpayer on behalf of the usual suspects. I guess the TWIC money is not enough, but when it comes to the defense parasites and their wholly owned subsidiaries in Congress, there is never enough.


#8

Not hiring now call back in 2019


#9

This article at SEAPOWER magazine has a better explanation of the remarks that were made.

Officials: Sealift Stressed by Future Ship and Mariner Shortages

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. — The nation’s strategic sealift capability is degraded by future shortages of sealift ships and the mariners that operate them, government officials said.

Testifying March 22 on Capitol Hill before the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee were Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen Sr. of the U.S. Maritime Administration; Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Lyons, deputy commander of U.S. Transportation Command; and Scott DiLisio, director of the Strategic Mobility/Combat Logistics Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Rep. Randy Forbes, subcommittee chairman, noted that the 2017 budget request reflected a 20 percent reduction in funding the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the number of U.S.-flag merchant ships had declined from 282 in 2000-2014 to just 179, a reduction of 40 percent. The Virginia Republican said he “was determined to change this dangerous trajectory.”

Jaenichen said that MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force (RRF) totals 46 ships and the fleet’s average ship age was “39 years, well above the normal service life of commercial vessels.” He noted that the 78 ships that were activated in 1990 for Operation Desert Storm exceed the current number of vessels in the RRF.

The requirements of the combatant commanders exceed the availability of the RRF. Jaenichen also noted that the number of U.S.-flag commercial ships engaged in international trade had declined from 106 in 2011 to 78 today. Of those 78 ships, 60 are in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) — in which commercial shipping companies are paid stipends to make ships available for national defense needs.

The maritime administrator said the decline in the commercial fleet is coincident with the decline of government-impelled preference cargoes, and the overall volume of preference cargoes transported aboard U.S.-flag vessels has decreased by 75 percent since 2011. The drop in the numbers of U.S. forces deployed to wars in the Middle East has put “downward pressure on the viability of the fleet,” he said.

He also noted the present over-capacity in the world’s commercial fleet because of the current world economy. The MSP ships are under contract through 2025, but, as Jaenichen said, the “world has changed.”

“In order for the MSP fleet to be viable, there is only one place to go, and that is the stipend amount to ensure that the fleet can remain viable,” he said. “That fleet is critical for national security to be able to globally project and sustain the armed forces.”

Jaenichen said the stipend amount is not guaranteed to keep merchant ships in the MSP program, saying that “if they are losing money they can’t [afford to] stay in the program.”

In response to a question about the Jones Act, Jaenichen said “a repeal of the Jones Act would be traumatic for the U.S. Merchant Marine. … If you take away the [ship] building requirement by repealing the Jones Act, that construction does not occur. The federal government would now incur all of the overhead cost and would exponentially increase our cost to maintain those shipyards and that industrial base, which is critical.”

The MSP also provides employment to 2,400 U.S. mariners. Jaenichen noted that the total number of U.S. mariners that have the necessary qualifications for large seagoing vessels is 11,280, a number too small to sustain, if activated, operations for more than a period of four to six months. He said that MARAD is drafting a national maritime strategy to address such issues as manpower in the mariner category.

The officials addressed the shortage of mariners and the training programs to produce mariners. Jaenichen said the training of officers was hampered by the aging of the training ships at the six state-operated maritime academies which, along with the 200 produced by the U.S Merchant Marine Academy, produce 900 mariners per year. He sees a requirement for 70,000 mariners by 2022, a total which could not be attained at the current training rate.

DiLisio said 122 ships operated by the Military Sealift Command include 85 organic ships used for prepositioning, surge sealift, and sustainment, including two new platforms — the expeditionary transfer dock ships and the expeditionary fast transports.

Lyons said the “two fleets — government and commercial — are inextricably bound together by the merchant mariners who crew both.

“Without a healthy U.S. merchant fleet, we lack the capability to deliver our military forces to war,” Lyons said. “As I sit here today, it is our collective assessment that our military sealift capacity — organic, commercial, and the mariners that crew them – is sufficient to meet our deployment surge requirements in accordance with our national military strategy with acceptable risk.”


#10

wasn’t the maritime “strategy” due to be released a few months ago? Indefinite procrastination just like sub chapter M?


#11

[QUOTE=z-drive;182752]wasn’t the maritime “strategy” due to be released a few months ago? Indefinite procrastination just like sub chapter M?[/QUOTE]

Seems like it boils down to the cost of subsiding an American deep-sea fleet vs the risk of going FOC for military cargoes. This has been a long decline but once all the deep-sea infrastructure and expertise is gone it will be gone for good.

As far as people feathering their own nests, just figure double the cost to pay for all the parasites.


#12

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;182751]This article at SEAPOWER magazine has a better explanation of the remarks that were made.[/QUOTE]

It’s loaded with the same obfuscation and BS:

“Jaenichen said that MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force (RRF) totals 46 ships and the fleet’s average ship age was “39 years, well above the normal service life of commercial vessels.” He noted that the 78 ships that were activated in 1990 for Operation Desert Storm exceed the current number of vessels in the RRF.”

Hmmm… what happened since then? Oh yeah, MSP enacted in 1996, 47 ships, increased to 60 eventually (number of ships reflagged MSP was actually significantly higher, those 78 vessels were also foreign-flagged brought in to work more cargo availability, more US flag cargo pref money–despite the smaller stipend of the time for MSP vsls and no stipend for the 18). Point being, obviously the RRF should go down in numbers.

“The requirements of the combatant commanders exceed the availability of the RRF. Jaenichen also noted that the number of U.S.-flag commercial ships engaged in international trade had declined from 106 in 2011 to 78 today. Of those 78 ships, 60 are in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) — in which commercial shipping companies are paid stipends to make ships available for national defense needs.”

I don’t believe in the first sentence and it’s easy to craft a number to look that way-- wonder if this includes the normal force shipment requirements of a global deployed force? In any case, 106 ships working to sustain two very active battle-spaces before drawdown and withdrawal of forces is normal. It also shows the available contracted logistics force is scalable to the need when required–are they suggesting we need to maintain a taxpayer funded force at its peak/maximum always? And the stipends were a fixed fee, despite the changes in size of the various ships enrolled. During height of operations, multiple large PCTC, now, smaller heavy lift, geared vsls, less TEU, more flexibility–yet larger stipends? Fuel costs are less, mariner wages are probably stable, why? Oh right, there’s a global slowdown, and with the introduction of larger ships in the international trade (Triple E and such) smaller vessels are inherently more expensive by comparison (if not actually revenue), especially as larger container vsls reduce costs to operate thru economy of scale. It is not surprising that foreign shipping interests will push for more numbers of such vessels in US service, for more money, if they find a gullible enough Congress.

"Rep. Randy Forbes, subcommittee chairman, noted that the 2017 budget request reflected a 20 percent reduction in funding the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the number of U.S.-flag merchant ships had declined from 282 in 2000-2014 to just 179, a reduction of 40 percent. The Virginia Republican said he “was determined to change this dangerous trajectory.”

The numbers went up since there was money to be made with cargo preference due to increasing shipments due to wars—is the Representative suggesting to engage in more of them?

“The MSP also provides employment to 2,400 U.S. mariners. Jaenichen noted that the total number of U.S. mariners that have the necessary qualifications for large seagoing vessels is 11,280, a number too small to sustain, if activated, operations for more than a period of four to six months.”

What does that mean? Seagoing mariners lose their quals/capability/minimum rest/maximum work in four to six months? Sure hope the grey fleet Navy doesn’t run on similar principles.

They talk about ships, and ship numbers… they aren’t talking about cargo capacity or actual needs (they would claim these figures, derived by industry logisitics and war planners are secret and not to be reviewed or questioned). Sealift depends more on the latter and ships are larger now. This is all industry lobbying.

What they should be lobbying is making the Jones Act fleet international in operations, and therefore competitive and home-grown, for maximum benefits. Instead they champion both the Jones Act and MSP, which is detrimental to Jones Act. A dedicated congressional demanded program to ultimately replace MSP and RRF with Jones Act vessels would spur continued new build orders and US employment over time and provide the sealift and mariner capacity. As it is, the US government is just propping up a sector of multi-national shipping corp divisions.


#13

^Yes, same info, a little more detail but a less emphasis on the 70,000 jobs number that’s thrown everyone for a loop.


#14

[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;182757]
… is the Representative suggesting to engage in more of them?
[/QUOTE]

If his handlers didn’t make money by making more wars we wouldn’t have any wars at all.


#15

[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;182757]
“What they should be lobbying is making the Jones Act fleet international in operations, and therefore competitive and home-grown, for maximum benefits. Instead they champion both the Jones Act and MSP, which is detrimental to Jones Act. A dedicated congressional demanded program to ultimately replace MSP and RRF with Jones Act vessels would spur continued new build orders and US employment over time and provide the sealift and mariner capacity. As it is, the US government is just propping up a sector of multi-national shipping corp divisions.”[/QUOTE]

This is exactly what it should be. At least make it percentages, say 50% of the MSP fleet must be Jones Act qualified. Add in energy export to this. As arbitrary number say 25% of the energy exports must be on Jones Act tonnage. PL480 exports 25% on Jones Act tonnage. Perhaps a pipe dream but would keep shipyards busy and mariners employed with renewal of ships crew as retirement takes place.


#16

I’d say 100% of MSP should be Jones Act Tonnage, but in theory I totally agree with you.


#17

[QUOTE=highseasmechanic;182791]This is exactly what it should be. At least make it percentages, say 50% of the MSP fleet must be Jones Act qualified. Add in energy export to this. As arbitrary number say 25% of the energy exports must be on Jones Act tonnage. PL480 exports 25% on Jones Act tonnage. Perhaps a pipe dream but would keep shipyards busy and mariners employed with renewal of ships crew as retirement takes place.[/QUOTE]

What the hell, LI Domer gets a like for agreeing with what I propose and I get nothing…!?

i see a phase in program. If the congress is will to give 5 mil a year per ship for 60 ships each year, we scale back and use it for financing. Say cut back to 50 ships and then that’s 50 million year one, 50 more year two… Keep cutting back on foreign ships over time due to less foreign wars requiring less sealift while more get built. Change ratios of foreign to US build as possible in favor of new US build, and change cargo priority laws along the way…You get the idea. Cut and cut. If the congress is willing to pay 300 million a year forever, fine, pay for the best value for US industries vice taking whatever foreign build tonnage foreign owners care to throw into the program when they choose to. If only Gary Chouest was willing to get involved—why not? offshore will be dead for years and he owns drydocks like tampaship. This will require an American entrepreneur, since it requires taking on foreign shipping interests who have congress sewn up. Cargo pref laws no longer favor US build, just acts as corporate subsidies since anyone can bring in foreign tonnage for cargo pref. Time to earn best value for the US.


#18

Not only US is going to be short of qualified Mariners, the same apply to UK: http://news.maritimejobs.com/news/action-must-taken-are-address-633477

It appears to be a worldwide problem: http://fairplay.ihs.com/article/4268276/shortfall-in-ship-officers-set-to-grow

Who wants to spend their life on a ship far from home anyway??


#19

[QUOTE=ombugge;194604]Who wants to spend their life on a ship far from home anyway??[/QUOTE]

Plenty of people if the pay is worth it. Instead of complaining about lack of mariners complain about lack of pay attracting/retaining people to/in the industry.


#20

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;195475]Plenty of people if the pay is worth it. Instead of complaining about lack of mariners complain about lack of pay attracting/retaining people to/in the industry.[/QUOTE]

How do you attract people to a dying industry. As it is, most of the fun has been squeezed out of it.