Future of Kings Point

With a deep sea fleet of under 200 ships and autonomy on the way, we do not need 5 state maritime academies plus Kings Point. The KP campus would be ideal for DoD Transportation and Logistics Academy or a Cyber Academy, serving all branches of the military.
I am a KP grad, but I see this as way to prevent the facility from being shut down. The Dept of Transportation and especially Marad, are weak agencies. The DoD would give KP a secure future.


Well, it already DOES serve all branches of the military. The real solution is to strengthen the US Flag commercial fleet (as opposed to MSC), but we all know that isn’t happening anytime soon.


The US deep sea fleet could be expanded considerably by relaxing the Jones Act US build requirement. The high cost of building ships in the US actually leaves some JA trade routes unserved. An example is container feeder vessels on the USEC. We truck containers up and down the coast rather than shipping them, which creates traffic, pollution, beat up our roads and is much more expensive than would be ships.
But the US shipbuilders would rather see this and other trades go unserved rather than grant a waiver for business they do not have.
On other JA trades, oil companies work around the high price of using JA ships in a number of ways. Attached is a graphic of what happens every day. Rather than use JA ships to transport gasoline from US refineries to US ports, foreign flag ships are used to deliver US gasoline to Canada and Canadian gasoline to the US. I.e. foreign flag ships carrying the same cargo passing each other going in opposite directions. These are all because of the high cost of building ships in the US. Granted, US flag opex is also higher, but not to the extent that building costs are.
US yards build good ships. They simply do not have the economies of scale to compete with foreign yards.



Your allegiance to KP is very commendable. Cmakin is absolutely correct. There is nothing on the horizon that would suggest a concerted strategy to strengthen the US flag fleet is developing. If anything the current MARAD administrator is AWOL.

With minimal support from MARAD and autonomy on the horizon many will say the future of KP is already written. I think the SMAs can supply the needs of both blue water and the coastal industries and perhaps the USN would sweeten the SIP payments to attract more SSO candidates from that pool. Sadly, this is a solution that some expert will stumble upon in the hopes of reducing our budget deficit.

Its happened so many times over the years its due to happen again. Were it not for some very good lobbying by the USMMAAF and some industry supporters we would have already seen a repurpose of the campus and a shift in policy to further support the SMAs.

I am not supporting that approach just seems like its heading that way over the next decade.

There is nothing that the goverment could use that land for that could even remotly compete with the value of selling it. Among the most valuable pieces of real estate in the country.


That run has been tried a few times and never winds up being economically viable. It’s significantly slower, which customers don’t like, and not as much cheaper as you’d think. Between the costs of longshoremen combined with port taxes and fees no one has been able to make it work yet.

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The high cost of building Jones Act ships in the U.S. is the reason the numbers don’t work. I believe the attempts to move containers in the NE was on barges, not true container feeder vesswls.

The potential DoD academies I mentioned would certainly be a valuable use of the campus. I should be used for some kind of academic facility, preferably under the DoD.

Stevedoring costs and securing berth windows are the lynch pin items. They are way higher in the U.S. than other countries. Cheaper ships would help, don’t get me wrong, but operating the supply chain becomes prohibitively expensive over the long run.

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Halifax to Boston & Portland with foreign flag ships failed repeatedly.

Columbia is still moving 50,000 boxes a year Norfolk/Baltimore/Philly.

There’s a lot of reasons that more containers don’t move via water on the USEC. Cost of a U.S. built small feeder vessel is one, but far from the only, and not the biggest factor.

Running on barges will always beat JA-built feeder vessels. The US is much more competitive in building square sided barges compared to ships. But even if foreign-built ships were allowed, the extra manning costs (compared to tug/barge) would not compensate for the vessel procurement savings in the long run. Both rail and interstate trucking simply are the lower cost options.

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Rail is of very limited use north of NYC. Trucks are not only more expensive/TEU, they are more polluting, cause traffic and safety issues, severely beat up our roads (that’s why they have weigh stations) vs ships.
I dont know what a JA tug-barge unit costs, but it is probably about the same as a small foreign built container ship. These ships would deliver containers to small ports like New Haven, New London, etc.
A number of wealthy interests have run the numbers and they say it would be a thriving trade if the ships could be foreign built…like every other form of transport can be.

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Who’s paying for the waterfront, gantry cranes, rail, warehouse space, and road/infrastructure improvements to make all this happen?

Most infrastructure is in place. New Haven has cranes. Other ports could employ mobile cranes if they do not have fixed. No rail issues/would not be used. Don’t need to warehouse containers…load them on a truck for local delivery. Not sure what you mean by road/infrastructure improvements…the containers are already being trucked up and down the coast. Would provide hundreds of American mariner jobs.

From what I have seen New Haven mostly deals with bulk carriers and tankers. I don’t recall ever seeing cranes there or any gear to handle containers. Have they built gantries up there? Been a long long time.

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Tbh it sounds like rail would be an easier sell. Each of these cities you mentioned would need millions of dollars investment in port infrastructure. For oil or bulk the pathway is a bit easier, which is why places like Albany, Bridgeport, etc have petroleum terminals. For containers I don’t see that happening. Basically you would have to build a giant distribution warehouse on waterfront property and then have those containers brought to the last mile by trucks. I’m all for it and wish we had better short sea shipping, but I don’t see how it could works, and changing the JA build requirement is not going to provide the economic solution you think it would.

Sorry but its a drain on Tax-payers…
How many of the other free federal academies have required service commitments … all of them … if your just out of KP and don’t go to sea, last I knew, they’ll let you do the time from shoreside positions.
if the other SMA’s are getting it done with collecting tuition and have relatively decent placement then use the money from KP to help the SMA’s with student scholarships or budgets for upgrades…
I’m a Maine grad; sailed 15 years; now run a marine division shoreside for a trading shop – my tuition and loans were the best money ever spent… and I usually ask all my KP friends for $1 every time I see them as I figure they owe me since I paid for there degree with my taxes when I worked my way through school. :slight_smile:


So why didn’t you go to KP? Let’s say each of the 5 SMA’s each graduate 100 licensed mariners each year. That’s 500 mates/3rd asst engineers which is about the total number of 3rd’s sailing on US flag deep sea ships. Then you add the ~200 KP grads. Obviously a gross oversupply.
The SMA’s get a lot of federal dollars. They will be getting new training ships that cost over $10B…the KP budget for 10 years. These training ships are a colossal waste of money. By the time they are 10 years old most deep sea ships will be autonomous.

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Investors who have looked closely at USNE coast short sea container shipping say it would work comfortably if the ships could cost ~$40 million. US Flag. That $40m ship built overseas would cost close to $200m from a US yard.
Rail is economic when containers can be double stacked. Most of the NE freight rail lines have bridges which preclude double stacking.
Rather than guess whether ships would be more economic and environmentally friendly than trucks, why not clear the path for these investors by granting a foreign build waiver for ships that would serve JA trades that are not now served? US shipyards would not be losing business they don’t have.

The easy fix is to pass a law deeming a ship constructed from foreign-built modules in an American built shipyard an American ship. Everyone wins. More work for American shipyards, more work for American mariners, more work for tugs, more work for foreign shipyards