American Ship Management affirms strong ties to APL
U.S.-flag vessel operator American Ship Management affirmed its tie to parent APL/NOL in a recent letter to the nation’s maritime unions.
“Our business relationship with APL is strong and continues to be mutually beneficial,” Sandy Jones, vice president and chief operations officer of ASM, told the heads of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots; Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, and Seafarers International Union.
ASM, a section 2 citizen company, operates nine U.S.-flag containerships in the Maritime Security Program on behalf of APL.
MSP was created under the 1996 Maritime Security Act and is managed by the Maritime Administration. The program provides the federal government with immediate access to 47 military-useful container and roll-on/roll-off vessels during times of war and national emergency. To help offset the higher vessel operations costs, the federal government pays the MSP vessel operators $2.1 million per ship annually.
Maersk Line Ltd., another MSP vessel operator, recently asked MarAd for approval to take direct control of 15 ships in the program that are operated by U.S. Ship Management, a section 2 citizen corporation. Maersk Line Ltd. assured the maritime unions that their jobs would not be affected by the transfer.
ASM’s Jones said the USSM transfer to Maersk Line Ltd. has “no direct effect” on its operations or its relationship with APL.
“We are currently working with APL to create a strategic plan for continued APL participation in the U.S. flag and MSP with ASM and its contracted labor organizations as APL’s ship operator of choice for the next 12 years,” Jones said.
Jones said the plan is contingent on pending MSP reauthorization legislation and cooperation from maritime labor to develop “cost competitive” collective bargaining agreements.