Why The US Merchant Marine Is Failing


Because we paid for the training (or started at the lowest rung and did OJT) ourselves. There would be many more Americans on drillships if MARAD did more to train us all.

When your client is spending half a million dollars dayrate and that plus the clients daily expenses (transport, food, materials, 3rd parties) exceed $1 million… they aren’t looking to cut a few bucks kn wages. They are looking for the highest levels of technicsl expertise.

My desire to double USMMA’s budget isn’t an original idea, I stole it from shipowners who are willing to pay more for crew IF the crew is much better trained, more technicalky proficient and thus can improve efficiency and reduce downtime.

You’re :100: but… drillships are only one example. Windfarms are coming online, subsea infrastructures are being planned, consulants are being hired in shipyards and terminals, the list goes on and on.

It may not seem that way today but that’s just because everything is down at the moment… but otherwise cross training, adaptability and improving you technical proficiency is a solid way to get yourself through specific sub-industry cycles.

And these are all things marad/kp could help teach in the future.


Holy Houdini Batman… did the joker just agree with me on keeping KP open and expanding it’s technical leadership and influence???

Or did The Riddler just hack your account?


IDK, go ask him: mark.buzby@dot.gov


no, I still believe it should be closed and the funding diverted to expanding the MSP…


if it is to remain open (which I believe MarAd and Congress pretty much guaranty for the foreseeable future) then change the damn place top to bottom because imo, the program there is a failure. It has barely changed since WWII and that model simply is no longer working for the industry. I even will go so far as to say that uniforms and a minor regimental component can remain but the band must go, parades must go, formal inspections must go and it needs to be focussed on maritime 100%. Every grad a degreed engineer in one discipline or another because engineering in our industry is paramount and grads without engineering degrees are worthless except to be admiralty lawyers and they don’t help national defense!


I thought Buzby said he planned to talk with you today after he called from the USCG change of command ceremony.

as far as me contacting him, I may but it would be nice to know if he is open to my effort considering I am a vocal critic of KP and he is front and center in supporting the place. That might be too big of a hurdle to surmount between us. A KP’er bashing KP has never been tolerated by my fellow alums and I am not sure if there will be a chance for me to speak freely? Besides, you are the point man here. I applaud you for stepping forward to lead.


Like I wrote earlier …

“Doubling KP’s already inflated budget will not make the place something it is not and never was intended to be. It was an emergency response to an actual emergency which has long passed … the body is corrupted and decomposing, bury it before the smell gets any worse. KP is never going to be a source of “better education” … it never was and never will be no matter how deep the trough it feeds in.”

Don’t forget for one moment that KP shut down the only program it ever had to particate in the training of existing mariners. That tells you what MARAD and the KP leadership think of the US mariner.


The Head of KP was just fired and the useless head of MARAD was recently replaced. Maybe cuts need to be made deeper, IDK, and maybe they will. We can’t expect any government organization to chsnge overnight.


Hi John, I am not a US mariner but having served with the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (Sealift command similar?) and Mobil Shipping (tankers) in the past I follow your posts.

I see that the UK Merchant Navy has and is going through similar problems with recognition in the public’s eye and the problems with funding/training/legislation.

The major problem for us is that by nature, I think, we are self-effacing. Most Army, Navy, Air Force and Merchant Navy people are reluctant to talk about (promote?/publish?) their experiences, good or bad, in public. ie “It is not the done thing”. In the pub, in a private forum and the like, some will let loose, but never publicly.

Maybe it is time for the likes of Netflix/BBC/PBC to commission a doco or series about the Merchant Marines/Navies and their key position in the World’s affairs over the years ( sorry, centuries!) without any bombast or self-promotion; establishing ‘our’ perspective and involvement in how the World works today.

Such a thing could be the catalyst for a change…


I agree fully Neil


so yesterday John, I put forth six actions MarAd could take if they truly want to see the status quo be ended

can you comment on those points?..I would like to know your thoughts on them


From Todays Tradewinds - make of it what you will

Liberty Global hires ex-Marad chief Jaenichen

Former chief of the main agency in charge of US commercial shipping plans to expand Liberty’s trade lanes.

June 5th, 2018 13:28 GMT

by Michael Angell

Published in Liner

Liberty Global Logistics has brought on Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, the former head US regulator for commercial shipping, to lead the company’s US flag business.

Jaenichen was to lead the US Maritime Administration (Marad) in 2014 and served until 2017. Previously, he served as deputy administrator from 2012 to 2014.

He went to Marad after a 30-year career in the US Navy where he served as captain of a fast-attack submarine, a commodore of a submarine squadron, and deputy chief of legislative affairs.

US maritime chief Jaenichen vows to stand by Jones Act
Read more  .
This will be Jaenichen’s second foray into the private sector as he was previously with HMS Global Maritime in New Albany, Indiana.

Jaenichen’s "career accomplishments and understanding of the intricacies of both the US flag and international shipping industry will be great assets for (Liberty) as we look to develop new trade lanes and expand the company’s global footprint.” said chief executive Philip Shapiro.

Jaenichen said, “I am thrilled to be joining Liberty’s Executive Management team. Together, we will work to continue to develop Liberty’s planned growth and expansion into new and diversified trade lanes while maintaining our reputation for innovation and outstanding customer service.”


Yes we received this to but it’s a direct example of the manufactured news I mentioned in my article… so we did not publish it to gCaptain.


I don’t know anything about “Chip”, but I know what kind of turds run Liberty so if he’s their idea of a great hire, then I’m certainly glad he’s no longer in charge of MARAD.


I’ve been gone for a while … when did c.captain come out of the closet?


I think he was outed, I don’t think he did it voluntarily.


yes, I my cover was blown by the now departed Fraqrat but I was becoming tired of burying the truth so that when he did out me, I put up no resistance. It was quite a relief actually to be out in the light instead of the shadows


It is very heartening to see an alumnus take off the rose colored glasses, put down the Kool-Aid glass, and speak out rationally about how KP does nothing to serve the needs of or benefit the maritime community as a whole.

Thank you c.captain.


Fraq is no longer here?


hasn’t been for several months now

I emailed him to ask why but no reply

lots of the old names are long departed into the gCaptain annals to history…sure wished they were still here. this place has become very boring as of late and even I spend way less time logged into the forum than I used to. the day may come when I am the next to vaporize suddenly


you know complaining about MarAd is rather pointless when an agency with 100times MarAd’s budget is failing far worse!

GAO issues new report on Navy shipbuilding

JUNE 8, 2018 — As the Navy plans its biggest fleet size increase in over 30 years, the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) has published a report called “Navy Shipbuilding: Past Performance Provides Valuable Lessons for Future Investments.” As far as the watchdog agency is concerned, that past performance has not been great. It says that Navy ships have routinely cost more and taken longer to build than expected.

For example, says GAO, on its lead ships, the Navy has experienced a total of $8 billion in cost growth and years of schedule delays from classes built during the past 10 years, and many of these ships were provided to the fleet with less capability and poorer quality than expected. These poor outcomes have reduced the Navy’s buying power, which contributed to significant shortfalls in achieving the long-range shipbuilding plan it established in 2007 when it set a goal ifor a fleet of 330 ships. Since then, it has fallen 50 ships short, gone $11 billion over budget, experienced many years of schedule delays, and delivered ships with less capability and lower quality than expected.

These poor outcomes persist, says GAO, because policy and processes enable the Navy to deviate from shipbuilding best practices. GAO says the Navy’s planned size increase “creates an opportunity for the Navy to improve how it buys ships, adopt a more disciplined approach, and avoid past difficulties.”

Read the report HERE