MARAD - aged out MSP vessels still in the program?

Actually Wilhelmsen Line built several of them (T Class). The Taiko was the ship that was used to destroy Syrian chemical weapons instead of one of the Cape Rise (one of the R’s).

M/V Taiko

Now scrapped:


Fri Aug 22 12:33:22 CEST 2014 BerndU

arrived Jiangyin scrapyard 21.08.14

From the photo is looks like the ship might have been designed for project cargo. What does the military routinely move that requires a 330 ton ramp that wide?

Otherwise the height is similar to other PCTCs, as is the deck area.

This is from the MM&P newsletter:

he GREEN OCEAN was flagged in over the weekend in Nagoya, Japan.

“The ship is purpose built to carry both cars and military cargo,” says Captain Thaddeus Grohoski, who arrived in Japan on Saturday.

“We have significantly more high/heavy cargo space than the older RoRo’s and all of the ramps are massive.”

Wilhelmsen before WWL was established had 9 RoRo’s in the Europe EC NAmerica NZ trade finishing empty in Australia. Australia to Singapore full load then empty again. Load SE Asa Far East finishing loaded in Japan. Then California, Panama Canal To EC US finishing empty in Norfolk. Reposition empty to Mobile half load finishing full in St John’s Canada then Europe. Empty in Gothenburg & start loading Europe America southbound for Oceania. 120 day round voyage vessels two weeks spread . Most of the time there were 3 class vessels employed. MK 2, current US flagged Cape class, MK 3, Tako Tampa and Texas. Then Taronga, which was renamed Endurance, and the single MK4. Plan was to phase out the older MK2’s for MK4

Vessels width deck heights and ramp design & capacity same all classes. Commercial reason for 330 tons, they operated in a cargo segment few others could carry. Too heavy for smaller geared break bulk ships, mostly 100 ton lift limited. And 250 ton pieces too small for most charters. 330 is total includes towing vehicle, roll or jack up special trailers . 250 was a rule of thumb acceptance policy.

Added benefit 330 ton ramp two heavy loads could be on the ramp same time, no need to let one fully transit before next starts rolling and lighter moves, Roll trailers, or powered vehicles two wide on the ramp often splitting off upon reaching the main deck up or down.

Most complicated liner service I have ever seen, and there were small additional segments & cargo opportunities have not mentioned, but it worked well and was profitable.


Yep. Endurance is the last one.

The M.V. Cape Ray had two prototype hydrolysis systems (FDHS) for processing chemical weapons installed at Earl Industries in Portsmouth VA in the fall of 2013. The Ark Futura loaded chemical weapons at Latakia, Syria, and then proceeded to Gioia Tauro, Italy where it rendezvoused with the Cape Ray and then transferred the chemical weapons to the Cape Ray. The Cape Ray then proceeded to sea and using the FDHS rendered the chemical weapons inert. The inerted residue, along with other contaminated equipment, was transferred ashore in Germany and Finland for final disposal. The M.S. Takiko loaded chemical weapons and material at Latakia and transported it to Finland for processing and disposal ashore. The book Red Line by Joby Warrrick chronicles all this and more, and gets most of it right.

1 Like

The ARC Endurance is still among the largest RoRo vessels in the world (#5):

The 330 tonnes SWL ramp is not unusual, or a record in the WWL fleet:

See video tour of one of the WWL RoRo vessels to get an impression of the size and capabilities:

The next generation of WWL RoRo vessels:

At the company site the capacity of the Endurance is listed as 4923 RT43 while the ARC Independence is listed at 7620 RT 43



RT unit is based on the 1996 Toyota corona car size. So yeah there might be more deck area for small cars. A lot of modern roros have small light decks higher up for cars. The overall size usefulness for the military must factor in the total deck area combined with the deck strength and deck height.

A PCTC can have a high RT 43 unit capacity and High and Heavy (H&H) capacity with liftable decks.

The Independence has 240 MT ramp and a door height of 21.3 feet (6.5 meters). That’s not for little cars.

The Endurance has 9 decks, 1 liftable.
The Independance has 13 decks, 5 liftable

In my past post I was saying that the RT total deck area might not all be military useful because most of the liftable decks can not support the weight of military equipment. The door height is in reference to the stern door opening not the height of every deck. - so yeah it’s not just for little cars lol. The ramp tonnage is also in reference to the stern ramp not the internal ramps. Which are a lot less.

There is no liftable deck on a car carrier that I know that can support 70ton tanks.

Of the Independence there is mostly likely 4 total lower decks that can hold military equipment. (Some of these decks will have the deck above them raise to fit the high- heavy. So minus 4 total decks.) only the fixed deck will support the military cargo. There is probably an upper deck without a moveable deck above it that is strong and high enough to support just humvees and trailers. Then on some roros you might be able to fit some humvees on an even higher deck but might need to spread the weight out to support the cars. You risk warping the deck on the upper deck if you are loading and spreading out the weight. The deck metal is thin / capacity light

1 Like

I seem to remember that the Wilhelmson ships had pretty classy accommodation. I wonder what the USN
did with that.

1 Like

Yes, 5 moveable decks implies 3 or 4 decks of High and Heavy, be my guess anyway.

As I recall Tarronga/Endurance as built the only light liftable car decks were forward on the main deck near the bow, capacity few hundred autos. They were rarely used, jacked up they allowed more high heavy cargo. Garage retrofitted weather deck would be heavy capable on the bottom & no reason it’s not high. Probably light duty not likely liftable higher decks.

Significant feature on the MK 2,3,4 RoRo’s able to work several decks same time did not stop with ramp width. Once up the ramp to the right along the starboard side main deck with high passage forward opened up full width of the vessel as it passed engine space. Amidships narrow ramp to the weather deck closed off with a door in front of the house stow dry or outside the door open to the weather . Used to transport lashing gear etc to the deck container stowage, Most times filled with smaller rolling cargo lashed on the incline last port load first port discharge or as storage cargo handling equipment . She carried 7 Fork lifts 3-4 were heavy capacity

Port side ramp down to # 2 deck heavy not as high, closed off with WTight top. Center of # 2 another narrow ramp with WTight top down to # 3 bottom. Used mostly for heavy palletized cargo block stowed to minimize lashing. Every voyage segment had first in last out “basic” cargo in #3 weight gave stability to counter the heavy container load on the weather deck. Paper, Aluminum Ingots, Crude Rubber, Paper. 4 segments 120 day round voyage.

It was not uncommon to have two longshore gangs each split in half with extra headers drivers and checkers working multiple decks same time. Made the turn times very fast.

She’s big, does not show as big as the latest WW RoRos Capabilities doubt if her equal is out there. Naturally opinion is prejudiced


Google search finds this:

DECEMBER 3, 2018 — Central Gulf Lines, Inc. (CGL), a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CKH), reports that its M/V Green Cove recently completed a round trip voyage to Busan, South Korea under a time charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. CGL supported the movement of military equipment for two U.S. Army brigades.

The Green Cove, a 22,747 dwt, 1999-built Pure Car/Truck Carrier transported well in excess of 20,000 metric tons of military cargo, including more than 150 M1 Abrams tanks, and nearly 300 Bradley Fighting Vehicles utilizing the vessel’s full lift capacity. The high-profile loading and discharge operations were attended by senior Army leadership.

from here:

Green Cove is 25 too! Looks like that ships is also coming up on the MSP chopping block as next year it will also age out.

Any one know anything about the Green Lake and if it still has an MSP billet?

I tried to look on the MARAD website there is no updated MSP list of vessels since 2022.

I know Liberty Maritime was trying to get the Liberty Peace an MSP slot awhile ago but I’m not sure if they got one or not for the vessel. Maybe if it doesn’t already have a chit/ billet then it will take the slot previously held by the Green Lake?

The Liberty Peace is the sister ship to the Liberty Passion which I know has an MSP billet (poster from 2022 shows the vessel on it) and is a lot younger than the Green Lake (7 years old vs 26 years old). Looks like the vessels are similar in size and military usefulness.

Ms Chao was not the enemy, and I think helped get better ships into MSP, Admiral Buzby conferred with her on more than a few occasions how to get decent vessels in our fleet. His forward thinking took some time, after his tenure a few things in his efforts came to be. I will always respect him for doing the sudden total thing with the breakout of MSC and reserve ships to show congress the “Readiness of the Fleet”… The guy had the balls enough to show them.

MARAD just exercised the option in with RRF fleet to extend the existing contracts six months…without any wage or benefit increases. WTF is that??? Nice job by the organization that is supposed to benefit the Merchant Marine. The Unions and OPCO’s had come to an agreement with wage and benefit increases, it looks like MARAD just chose to ignore it. The optics of this suck.