Domestic American Maritime Industry Booming
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation today heard first hand about America’s booming domestic maritime industry from Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of the Board of Saltchuk, one of the country’s most recognized transportation and distribution companies, who was testifying on behalf of the American Maritime Partnership (AMP).
Tabbutt told Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) that American maritime, supported by the Jones Act, is strong, vibrant, and growing.
“Our industry is experiencing an extraordinary renaissance and its contributions to America’s economic, national and homeland security have never been more important,” said Tabbutt. “The largest sector of our domestic marine transportation industry supports our energy infrastructure with the movement of crude, refined petroleum products, and chemicals and has seen dramatic growth as a result of the shale oil revolution. This is driving record levels of new vessel construction orders and deliveries in American shipyards.”
Tabbutt updated the subcommittee on the growth in domestic vessel construction and noted that the American shipyard sector is seeing a significant resurgence in construction for all types of vessels including containerships, roll-on/roll-off vessels, dredges, offshore supply vessels, large articulated tug-barges, and tankers. Tabbutt also noted that the state-of-the-art vessels being built are more productive, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly. America’s maritime industry is also reaching out to hire more veterans, Tabbutt said, through its Military2Maritime program with recent job fairs in Jacksonville, FL and Houston, TX.
“The American domestic maritime industry is doing its part to help address the transportation changes. There are 22 new large tankers and articulated tug-barges under contract, not including options for future construction.” Tabbutt said. “We have inland shipyards in this country that are building and launching, on average, almost a new barge every single day of the year. New tugs and towing vessels are also being built to handle that increased demand.”
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to testify before the subcommittee to share the good news of America’s vibrant maritime sector,” said AMP Chairman Tom Allegretti. “This is an industry that is investing heavily in vessels, personnel and practices to ensure its continued ability to safely and efficiently meet the demands of its customers, as well as the nation’s transportation needs. This is an exciting time to be a part of a very dynamic industry.”