So, maybe we can try this again…we seem to have some people in positions of power who at least are mentioning the USMM and its importance, so let’s throw out our collective ideas on what needs to happen to get our merchant marine going in the right direction. I’ll start with @c.captain 's post from the previous thread which faced the Norweigan necktie:
I agree with this sentiment and feel the ball could get rolling by (for instance) going on the open market and purchasing 6 x 7,000TEU foreign built container ships. Once they are brought up to speed, go to APL (who operates a 6 ship liner service under MSP [ http://aplinfo.apl.com/services/documents/sells_mkt_tp_ex1.pdf ]) and say those MSP slots are going away and work a deal with them to operate those 6 US Govt. owned ships instead of APL’s own ships. If they aren’t interested, then put it out to bid.
Once that’s going, get reps from the USN, MSC, Aker, and NASSCO together in one room and come up with a standard design of X TEU’s (TBD by the reps listed above) and give Aker and NASSCO a contract to build 3 each of these new MARAD C(X) ships. As they are launched, replace the foreign tonnage on APL’s liner service. Towards the end, go to Maersk Lines Limited and tell them the same thing. They currently operate 17 (http://www.maersklinelimited.com/about/about-maersk/us-flag-fleet/ ) of these vessels (plus 3 smaller feeder type ships). Contracts for those could be doled out on an incentive basis based on which yard performed the best on the previous ships. Additionally, perhaps some other yard would come online and be able to bid as well. The end goal being the get a production rate that is steady such that when the last ship of the desired fleet size is delivered, the first ship is at the end of life, (30 to 35 years) and ready for replacement. This setup would give the yards a steady constant workload so they could survive any dry spells in the commercial side of their business.
Eventually expand this same model to a standard MARAD PCTC design and CONRO design (if the aforementioned team deemed these or other design to be desirable).
Ideas? Thoughts? Points? Counter points?