MARAD - aged out MSP vessels still in the program?

Maybe @john or someone can explain this but why is ARC and Waterman allowed to keep MSP billets for vessels over 25 years of age. They both have two roros on the MSP that are over the 25 years old! ARC has the ARC Endurance (1996) and Waterman has the Green Lake (1998).

These are both pretty horrible companies to work (ie bad pay)

Why not take the MSP billets from these companies and open it up to other operators that are willing and ready to flag in younger ROROs?!?

Endurance is a very capable vessel cargo wise. Not sure her equal is easily available. When Wilhelmsen built her she intended to be the first of the next generation RoRo, never built another like her. Think the ramp was 330 MT capacity. They switched to lighter duty PCTC vessels . Can’t speak to her current condition.

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Military loves the capacity of the Endurance to move tanks/helicopters/vehicles between the US and Europe. Its a money maker.

She stows the C 47 Chinooks easily don’t know how many but it’s a lot. The ramp can handle two large tracked vehicles side by side too. Wilhelmsen would have built more like her but the WW pool agreement called for all similar vessels & cancelled the larger RoRo program.

Example of Endurance size compared to the Messina RoRo’s US just purchased her DW tonnage is 1/3 more.

Apparently she move whole Divisions in one trip:

Capacity car units (RT43): 4.395 or 809 trucks
1 RT43 unit = 7,38975 m²

Stern ramp width: 12,00 m
Stern ramp capacity: 320 t
Number of decks: 9 (of which 1 is hoistable)
Source: scheepvaartwest - Endurance - IMO 9121273

That makes it a good target!

She was built as a ConRo plan was 8 more. Strategic decision taken to exit the Container business & form a joint operating company with Wallenius and operate similar vessels made her surplus… Fortunately for the owners US was flagging in foreign tonnage. Garage added to the weather deck greatly increased capacity.

US could have a fleet of these vessels American flagged and crewed if foreign built was a option. Never figured out why we allow flagged in foreign built but don’t allow foreign construction. Probably be cheaper and faster than obtaining used tonnage from foreign owners.

Thinking back to when we had many US flag liner operators (and I worked for one) they were heavily subsidized. And the subsidies came with strings attached. Believe engine type and service speeds required drove APL and Sea Land to foreign built not subsidized

I am not sure what you mean by “we allow flagged in foreign built but don’t allow foreign construction”. Any company can have a ship built foreign (by definition foreign constructed) and be US Flagged. It won’t be Jone Act qualified, but it can certainly be US Flag. None of the ships in the MSP are Jone Act qualified.

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Was not thinking about Jones Act coastwise commercial cargo . More Military and foreign aid.There are a number of cargo preference laws that prohibit foreign built and owned involved in US goverment cargo. They can be waived based on application and need. However waiver is not assured which makes it a risky business proposition. Vessels that have been flagged in for long term operation have gone through extensive negotiations before switching to US Flag. Short term charter specific voyage its not difficult

Having been a part of that process some years ago, the company followed the process in the linked document. I do not recall there being any extensive negotiations other than following the requirements listed. Things may have changed since.

MARAD giving a waiver for the ARC Endurance makes sense. It’s definitely more military useful than a typical RORO.

But the slot for Green Lake should be removed immediately there’s no excuse for not flagging in another ship in time and there’s other vessels with equal or similar cargo capacity that could be flagged in.

The government should immediately revoke MSP money when ships age out. Put some pressure on these companies. Waiting till the last minute compromises national security and does not punish corporate incompetence

No, they haven’t.

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I should have been clear on my flag in comments. Understand the technical part of foreign to US flag. Worked for the owner of Cape Henry, Horn, and Hudson when they were sold and reflagged

What I should have clarified is if the US Military wants capable ships at reasonable cost and delivery times all they have to do is order Arc Endurance class vessels in Asia. Flag US, crew US, from the start.

Some changes to the vessel would be needed to comply with U.S. regulations. They would have to keep the Admirals, Politicians and Lobbyists out of the order. This would eliminate expensive fiascos like two Littoral class designs Navy decided were not useful after construction. And the Gerald Ford years late dramatically over budget with systems that did not work on delivery . They would get vessels proven to do the job

If I recall correctly Liberty Maritime built the M/V Liberty Pride and M/V Liberty Promise in South Korea in response to TRANSCOM’s request for more RO/RO vessels. If the government wants more ships along the lines of the ARC Endurance all they have to do is make it worthwhile for a company to do so. The ship could then either be in the MSP or under long term charter as a “Cape” ship.

This is from the MEBA newsletter:

Seacor/Waterman has swapped out the aging Pure Car/Truck Carrier GREEN RIDGE with a new ship ahead of Maritime Security Program age restrictions. MSP age limits require that older vessels be replaced in the current program before reaching 25 years of age. The GREEN RIDGE, constructed in 1998, has been replaced by the newbuild GREEN OCEAN
and the M.E.B.A. crew is joining her in Nagoya, Japan this weekend. The new vessel assumes the MSP chit from the RIDGE which is already sailing in the company’s international fleet under a Liberian flag.

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Willhelmson ships such as the Tampa were regular callers to Australia and New Zealand in the past and to my knowledge all had the same capacity stern ramps. They were great to work and the cargo office was a portacom the same dimensions as a 40’ container that was unloaded and sat on the wharf adjacent to the ramp with an umbilical to the ship.
Ombugge would know something about the liquor that they carried. It had special significance after a trans global voyage.

No news for the Green Lake though? Maybe they could only get one ship in time and are giving up the chit for the Green Lake.
I feel there would be news of a replacement vessel if they intended to replace the Green Lake on a MSP chit.

ETA Vancouver USA 11.01.24 19:30 hrs.

Yes indeed I do know Linie Akevit and it’s story:

In fact my trip on a Wilhelmsen ship was with M/V Tamesis from Europe to Australia and back. We did carry several casks of Akevit in the strong room for the entire roundtrip. The voyage begun and ended in Oslo with call at many ports in Europe and Australia, which took over 6 months at that time.
PS>Each bottle of Linie Akevit has the name of the ship and the dates for start and end of the voyage shown on the inside of the label

It is still done today, but now the casks are carried in containers, still on WW ships:

PS> Different M/V Tamesis. Here is the one I sailed on in 1960-61:

M/V Tampa is probably best known for this incident:

IDK - just found it on-line:,_2023.pdf?1594