Fight to Keep The Jones Act


And the race to the bottom accelerates.


Economic obsolescence. Unfortunately that applies to most Jones Act vessels, What use to the military is a vessel with slots for 53 foot containers? Nowhere else in the world uses them so in a sealift operation they would appear to be useless.


The justification for building the Interstate Highway System was for national defense, so assets could be moved around the county more easily. There was never any plan to move the highway system overseas.

Same with the Jones Act ships, AFAIK using Jones Act ships overseas is not a significant part of any military planning.


What use is a RoRo to the military?


Are there box boats with slots for 53 foot containers?


Immense use, the Italians can show the USA a thing or two, and yes most have Italian officers.


Rhetorical question?

I think 45s are the largest standard these days but RoRos can handle them easily on trailers. I have seen 53s on the top of low stacks with the ends hanging in the breeze.


Yes, I am aware that 53 foot containers are in use but from what I’ve seen they are loaded on top. Are there mechanical “slots” that can only hold 53 footers?


noun: irony

the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.


Why would they be required when there are twislocks at the 40 foot positions? Except for access issues and lashings I don’t see why they couldn’t be stacked on a hatch cover.

I can’t imagine any guides being made for them since they are relatively rare.


I was responding to @Tellarian who is saying that a container ship that can carry 53 foot containers isn’t militarily useful. I was trying to think of some way that makes sense.

Not to mention that it assumes that JA ships are intended for use overseas.


Obviously confused between slots and lane metres.


I can’t see how saying that a 53 footer is not militarily useful makes any sense at all. They carry 60 percent more than a 40 footer and when mounted on a trailer fit on a RoRo very handily.


You’ll figure it out, probably.


Well, maybe you could help out here. I work RO/RO and we don’t use either term, we use RT units. Lane meters is a term I’d associate with RO/RO ferries more then deep-sea.

I know container ships have bays, cell guides, I’m not sure what is meant by the term “slot”


Pretty specious no? Why are you dragging militarily useful idea into discussion of the Jones Act - presumably meaning the cabotage part?

But since you are going down this rabbit hole. From the MARAD data:

Of the 99 Jones Act Eligible Vessels (again over 1000 GT, self propelled and oceangoing)
78 are listed as militarily useful and those break down as:
Tankers 46
Containerships 23
General Cargo 2

The MSP applies only to the Non Jone Act eligible ships and no doubt those are the ships that would be called for first in an emergency sealift situation. I’m sure if the situation warranted it the Jones Act Fleet would be called out as needed hence the identification of ships in that fleet as militarily useful. If the DOD took the time to make such designation it would appear they see how they could be of use.

Your reference to the Aloha class spec does nothing to support an argument that older container ships are not militarily useful. The military thinks they are.

Jones Act in terms of cabotage is somewhat effective at ensuring a bare minimum of shipbuilding, ship operating and ship crewing expertise is maintained as a national asset.

The non Jones Act eligible fleet provides ships, crews and operating expertise with specific militarily useful vessels pre-identified and committed (via the MSP) to sealift support when needed. These may be built in foreign yards. But 100% US manning is still required. This does far more for readiness, manning pool and general industry health than a second flag would.

So what’s your beef? This is the system that has evolved in the US. No one says it’s right for the rest of the world but I’m not getting why so many people with so little in the game have so much to say about it.

All the ships and crews that serve the import and export requirements of the US that are not US flagged are making money no? They dominate the market I would say. So again what is your beef?

If you don’t think the US needs to have the military it does or to stick its nose in other peoples affairs to the degree it does necessitating the need for sealfit then you only have to run for congress and change things.


That’s a good point. I recall seeing the U.S. built TOTE ships overseas with big deck loads of military before they got converted to RO-CON.


Of course it doesn’t make sense! Aloha class spec he linked to says it is “capable” of carrying 53 footers. The capacity is given in FEU’s and notional loading in TEU’s. It didn’t say exclusively 53 footers or having special cell guides that I could see. These are like tanker ISO units, flat racks and open tops. They are a specialty item you fit in. If they are on the hatches on top of stacks so what?

The vessel ceases to be militarily useful if it is capable of carrying a 53? Maybe that company had a need for that capability for their trade?


Just a FYI, 48 and 53 foot containers are 8’-6" in width. The securing twistlock foot print is different is than standard ISO (20’, 40’, 45’) containers which is why you are more likely toi see them on a RO-RO than a containership unless specifically set up to carry those boxes.

The term “slots” usually just means how many of a particular sized container one can carry. A “specific slot” would refer to the actual cargo position, i.e., Hold X or Bay Y, Tier Z.


No beef at all, just an observation. The singular nature of some vessels make the difficult to justify, IMHO, to be truly militarily useful in todays world.

Look at Hold five.

Guess it is a tomato / tomaeto thing. Slots are container cells in the rest of the world, and lane metres used on Ro Ros elsewhere for units that exceed the RT units, e.g. project cargo, oversized units.