Comment on the Maritime News

April-June 2002

   LPD DEAL LOOKS LOPSIDED.  Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and the Navy have announced the execution of an MOU under which Bath Iron Works would transfer its contract for LPD 19 and three option LPDs, to Ingalls in return for Ingalls' contract for DDG 102 and three additional unawarded DDGs.  As we said when we reported the likelihood of this deal on April 11, this is a good idea, one that ought to result both in a significant reduction in the total cost of the 12 LPDs and remove a lot of risk from BIW's medium-term outlook.  What's curious, however, is that it appears to be lopsided in favor of Ingalls.  The contract value of LPD 19 is 33% more valuable than the contract value of DDG 102 - $490mm versus $369mm - and an LPD is roughly twice the size of a DDG - about 18,000 tons versus about 9,000 tons.  Why did GD agree to a one-for-one swap?  They appear to be saying that they can make more profit on a single DDG than they could have expected to make on a single LPD, despite the LPD's greater labor content?  Probably so.  Northrop Grumman, however, says in its press release that the swap will not affect its financial projections, which appears to be saying that they expect to make the same profit on LPD construction that they make on DDG construction.  Well they must know what they are doing or they wouldn't be in charge, would they?  Tim Colton, June 18, 2002.

   FRIEDE GOLDMAN HALTER'S REMAINING ASSETS SHOULD FETCH AT LEAST $50MM.  Now that FGH has a provisional agreement to sell Halter Marine, we can do a little arithmetic.  $36mm for the French part of the Engineered Products division, plus $33mm for the US part, plus $15mm for Friede & Goldman, Ltd., plus  $4mm for the Newfoundland yards, plus at least $48mm for Halter comes to $136mm.  The remaining assets - the two former Ham Marine shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and the five former Texas Drydock shipyards in Orange, Port Arthur and Sabine Pass, Texas - are worth at least $50mm: the yards themselves are worth $30+mm and the accounts receivable and inventory (which includes about 25% of a partially built jack-up) that would go with them are worth $20+mm.  That would give the estate a grand total of $186mm, not a lot for a company that claimed to have assets of over $500mm (excluding goodwill) prior to its Chapter 11 filing, and far, far short of what's owed.

Rumors that FGH is considering an offer for the remaining assets that is less than $15mm are surely unfounded.  To sell at a price as low as that would be tantamount to a giveaway: in such a situation, the buyer would be able to recover his investment virtually overnight and would essentially have been handed a free start in the rig repair business with two of the best rig yards and one of the best rig docks in the country.  It is also hard to credit rumors that FGH is considering an offer from an investment group headed by the company's former Chairman.  Sensitive as it has always been in the past, the FGH Board of Directors undoubtedly recognizes what a gross insult such a deal would be to all the stockholders, bondholders, creditors, vendors and employees that have been so damaged, despite the brilliance of FGH's management.  Tim Colton, June 15, 2002.

   D'ARCINOFF GROUP PLANS TO BUILD CRUISE SHIPS AT SPARROWS POINT.  Voyager Cruises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of D'Arcinoff Group, has filed an application for Title XI financing for three PVSA cruise ships, to be built by Baltimore Marine Industries, Inc., at the Sparrows Point shipyard, near Baltimore, that was once the jewel in the crown of Bethlehem Steel's Shipbuilding Division.  The total project is stated to be $1.87 billion or about $623 million per ship.  It is understood that the D'Arcinoff Group has also executed some form of commitment to buy the shipyard from its present owners, Veritas Capital.  It is also understood that a unit of Bank of America is involved in the project.

I confess that I do not know anything about  Voyager Cruises' business plan.  I confess also that I do not know anything about the D'Arcinoff Group.  Let's assume, therefore, that Voyager Cruises' business plan is brilliant and that the D'Arcinoff Group has more money than United Defense Industries, and let's talk about the idea of building cruise ships at Sparrows Point.

This is not quite as stupid as reactivating Quincy to build product carriers but it comes pretty close.  Here are the key points:

(1) The Sparrows Point shipyard hasn't built a self-propelled oceangoing commercial ship in over 20 years.  In the late 1980s, it built two survey ships for the Navy and the project was a nightmare for the yard, leading directly to Bethlehem Steel's decision to sell it.  The new owners built some barges and that wasn't a success either.

(2) The new construction facilities at the yard have been moribund since then and have been allowed to deteriorate.  Significant investment would be required to reactivate them.

(3) Sparrows Point never built high-complexity, high-value ships, such as cruise ships.  It was a tanker factory: it was very good at building very large box-shaped ships with a lot of piping and not much else.  It was not and is not appropriately equipped for cruise ship construction.

(4) The skilled shipyard workforce is not there any more.  If anyone in Baltimore is claiming that it is, they lie.  It is a fact of life that shipyard workers, who are amazingly talented, hard-working, long-suffering and loyal, despite the way they are treated by shipyard managements.  They have little difficulty finding employment once they escape from the shipyard and it's close to impossible to lure them back.

(5) The same goes for supervision, staff and middle management.  They are all gone, long gone, and they ain't coming back.

Given these considerations, why would anyone in his or her right mind want to buy an old shipyard and try to build cruise ships in it?  And why would anyone lend money to such an ill-conceived venture?  Tim Colton, May 30, 2002.

   A BRIEF NOTE ON OUR EDITORIAL PHILOSOPHY.  People are always telling me that the stuff I write is too negative, because I always seem to be criticizing somebody.  Nonsense.  I'm not negative, I'm the industry's voice of sanity.  In fact, far from being negative, I'm one of the shipbuilding industry's great optimists.  I think that there is a ton of opportunity out there for a shipyard with competent management.  But the key words are "competent management": unfortunately, our industry is burdened with a great deal of incompetent management.   Every time you turn around, there's another shipyard doing something stupid.  Somebody has to point out the stupidity.  The press doesn't do it.  MARAD doesn't do it.  The bankers don't do it.  The bonding companies don't do itAnd the Wall Street analysts certainly don't do it.  So I do it.  Tim Colton, May 30, 2002.

   UDI TO BUY USMR.  United Defense Industries, Inc. (NYSE:UDI) has announced that it will buy United States Marine Repair, Inc. from the Carlyle Group for $316 million and USMR will drop its plans for an IPO.  Three questions arise:

First, is USMR worth $316 million?  Last year it had net income of $12mm on revenues of $391mm, a whopping 3%, very low for a company in a market that customarily throws off profits well over 10%.  Its EBITDA, however, was $45mm - that's an awful lot of ITDA - so UDI is paying 6.6 times EBITDA, a very high multiplier for the ship repair industry.  UDI said on its conference call that 6.6 was low for this industry: they must be thinking of some other industry.  Merrill Lynch provided a "fairness opinion" and Merrill Lynch is, of course, famous worldwide for its in-depth knowledge and experience of the ship repair business.

Second, is this a good deal for UDI's stockholders?  Already hurting from the impending loss of the ludicrous Crusader program, they are now going to get a new business unit in an industry that few people understand, that has a relatively poor record for making money (although generally better than USMR seems to be doing) and that has few prospects for growth.  UDI's hopes for growth are based on "increasing defense budgets" and an "aging fleet".  They may not have noticed that the Navy has not requested and the Congress has not provided increased funding for ship repair.  They apparently also haven't noticed that the Navy is getting smaller, not larger, and that the commercial ship repair business has almost all gone overseas.  If UDI wants to increase USMR's volume, they will (a) have to persuade the Congress to increase the OM,N budget significantly and (b) win major contracts away from the larger, more capable and more experienced companies in the business.  Both of these challenges look tough to me, but no doubt UDI's stockholders think that ol' Frank can just call ol' Don and fix things.  It's a good deal for the Carlyle Group's stockholders, of course, who, oh my, guess what, also happen to own 49% of UDI: make that a very good deal for the Carlyle Group's stockholders.

Third, is this a good deal for USMR's customers?  Will UDI's acquisition of USMR result in a reduction either in the cost of a ship overhaul or in the time that an overhaul requires?  Sure.  History demonstrates that acquisition of a shipyard or shipyards by a large defense contractor leads inexorably to ever higher costs and ever slower performance, but that won't be the case here, will it?  USMR's #1 customer, the U.S. Navy, should be accustomed by now to ever higher costs and ever slower performance: USMR's commercial customers, who provide 10% of the company's revenues, are, no doubt, patriots all, and will be equally enthusiastic.

So, all in all, this is great news, isn't it?  This deal is definitely not financial juggling: how could anyone suggest such a thing?  Who can doubt that, under UDI's leadership, the U.S. ship repair industry will become significantly more efficient and more competitive, the cost and time required for ship repair will be dramatically reduced, the Navy will abandon General Dynamics' and Northrop Grumman's shipyards, and commercial customers will flock to USMR's shipyards.  Watch out, Singapore.     Tim Colton, May 28, 2002.

   PETRODRILL RIGS TO BE COMPLETED BY CIANBRO.  The two semi-submersible drilling rigs contracted by Petrodrill with TDI-Halter back in March 1998 - over four years ago! - are being moved from Friede Goldman Offshore's yard in Sabine Pass, Texas, to Portland, Maine, where they will be completed by Cianbro, of Pittsfield, Maine, one of the largest construction companies on the East Coast.  The first rig is already in Portland and the second will move later this summer.  Cianbro will use the former Bath Iron Works repair yard at the Portland Ocean Terminal for this project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2003, employing about 800 people, many of them, probably, former or moonlighting BIW people.  Cianbro has apparently contracted to complete both rigs on a fixed-price basis, the fixed price in question apparently being in the general region of $65mm.  Talk about foolhardy!  Petrodrill would have been better off employing the Noble Drilling technique: contract on a T&M-with-incentives basis and manage the work themselves.  Would anybody care to bet on how much these rigs will finally end up costing, assuming that they are ever finished?  Tim Colton, May 25, 2002.

   AVONDALE SEALIFT SHIPS DELAYED AGAIN.  The last two of Avondale's series of seven large medium-speed ro-ro ships (T-AKRs 305 and 306) have been delayed yet again, the new deliveries being August 2002 and February 2003.  The originally contracted deliveries for these ships were October 2000 and September 2001, so T-AKR 305 will now be 22 months late and T-AKR 306 will be 17 months late.  No learning curves at Avondale, it seems.  Meanwhile, NASSCO, which got its original T-AKR contract 5 months after Avondale, delivered its seventh ship 9 months ago and will deliver an eighth ship this September.  Let's see now, that means that Avondale will have taken 113 months to build 7 ships (September 1993 through February 2003), 23 months (25%) longer than the 90 months that NASSCO took to build their 7 ships (February 1994 through August 2001).  Moreover, NASSCO will have comfortably built an eighth ship before Avondale can finish its seventh.  This has nothing whatever to do with Avondale being owned and managed first by Litton Industries and now by Northrop Grumman, of course.  Perish the thought.  Tim Colton, May 23, 2002.  Late News: The sixth ship was, in fact, delivered on July 11, but it is now understood that the last one will be delayed by at least another three months.  Tim Colton, July 13, 2002.

   BOLLINGER SHIPYARDS TO BUY HALTER MARINE FOR $48MM.  Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., has signed an agreement with Friede Goldman Halter, Inc., (FGH), for the acquisition of all the assets of Halter Marine, Inc.  The agreed price is $48mm.  This deal includes not only Halter's four operating shipyards (Halter Pascagoula, Halter Moss Point, Moss Point Marine and Halter Port Bienville) but also its four inactive shipyards (Halter Lockport, Halter Gulfport, Halter Gulfport Central and Halter Three Rivers), the FGH corporate office building in Gulfport, the Halter Engineering building in Gulfport, and all Halter's vessel designs and other intellectual property.  The agreement is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, following an auction.  If approved, it should close in July or August.

This development is good news for everyone except Bollinger's and Halter's competitors:

The outrageous thing about this deal is that it took so long.   Bollinger made a very similar offer at least six months ago and was summarily and brusquely rejected.  So what has happened in six months?  Well, nothing really except that the reorganization consultants and bankruptcy lawyers have continued to earn about $1.5 million a month in fees from FGH, (and they're worth every cent, of course), the company's bankers have continued to earn default interest rates on FGH's debt, and Halter has continued to lose money on its projects and see its talented managers and workers go elsewhere, as even its most loyal customers are reluctant to work with a company with such an uncertain future.  FGH is probably about $20mm poorer as a result of the delay.  So why exactly could this deal not have been done six months ago?  What was the Board of Directors doing all this time?  And how much longer will it take these guys to sell FGH's one remaining operation, the Friede Goldman Offshore rig yards in Mississippi and Texas?  Can they spin it out for another six months, do you think?

Anyway, Halter's agony is over at long last, or almost.  Tim Colton, May 22, 2002.

   INGALLS REDELIVERS "MARISCAL SUCRE", (F 21).  Ingalls Shipbuilding has redelivered the first of two Italian-built, "Lupo"-class frigates to the Venezuelan Navy, following its major overhaul and modernization.  Unsurprisingly, Northrop Grumman's self-congratulatory press release makes no mention of the fact that, when the $315mm two-ship contract was awarded to Ingalls in December 1997, they said that the work on both frigates would take two years and it seems to have taken almost four and a half.  How can it take four and a half years to overhaul a frigate?  And the second vessel, the "Almirante Brion", (F 22), which came in at the same time as the "Mariscal Sucre", in January 1998, will not be finished until "this summer", whenever that is.  (It's pretty much summer all the time in Pascagoula.)  Tim Colton, May 16, 2002, amended May 23, 2002.

   FAST SHIP RETURNS TO NASSCO.  Now that Kvaerner Philadelphia has opted to earn its living by building standard-design containerships on spec., the folks at the FastShip project, which sometimes seems to have been around almost as long as the World City project and which makes much less sense, have said that they have returned to negotiations with NASSCO, with whom they had an MOU of some kind a few years back.  According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the deal now is that NASSCO will build two ships and IZAR, the shipbuilding group owned by the unfortunate Spanish taxpayers, will build the other two.  It is not clear why this might work, since NASSCO's building dock, in which the FastShip vessels would have to be built, because of their size, is occupied right now with the two TOTE ships, closely followed by a series of 4+2 185,000-dwt tankers for BP, a program which will run through some time in 2008.  Kvaerner's dock, by contrast, will be available in 2005, if not earlier.  All will no doubt be explained soon.  Tim Colton, May 16, 2002.

   INGALLS GETS ANOTHER MONSTER CONTRACT.  Ingalls Shipbuilding has been awarded a cost-plus-award-fee contract for DD(X) design agent activities, including the design, build and test of engineering development models for major systems and components.  The value of this contract is given as $2,879,347,000.  This apparently might include some kind of demonstrator, but no actual functioning warship: they are planning to take an old DD and convert it as a prototype, but that will be a separate procurement.  Only about 38% of the contract value (a mere $1.1 billion) goes to the shipbuilders (including losing bidder but locked-in second-source Bath Iron Works), the rest going to Raytheon and a legion of assistant system integrators, vendors, consultants and other hangers-on.

Well, this beats everything.  $2.9 billion to design a destroyer: they've got to be kidding.  Compared to this, the LHD 8 contract (see below) is a bargain.  Now I know for sure that the Navy's leaders have lost their minds: I had only suspected it before.  The only good thing about this contract is that it's RDT&E, not SC,N, money.  But it's still the U.S. taxpayer's money and the Navy should be thoroughly ashamed of itself.  I predict, however, that this project will go the way of the Arsenal Ship and DD-21 and will be cancelled.  Tim Colton, April 29, 2002.

   INGALLS GETS A MONSTER CONTRACT.  Ingalls Shipbuilding has received an amendment to its FY00 contract for design and construction of LHD 8 (that's the ship that the Navy never requested).  The price tag on the amendment is $1.37 billion.  Yes, $1.37 billion.  If this is an amendment, this huge sum should be in addition to the $360 million already funded on this contract but, fortunately for the taxpayer, the Northrop Grumman press release says that this amazing figure of $1.37 billion includes the prior funding.  Either way, it's far too much.  And since delivery is not until July 2007, it's bound to go up quite a bit more, because that's how naval shipbuilding works: the longer you take, the more you spend and the more you spend, the more you get paid.  Somebody please tell me that this is not true.  There's got to have been a mistake somewhere.  LHD 7, which was commissioned less than a year ago, only cost $795 million (only?): even LHD 1, with all its developmental costs, only cost $880 million.  Now I know that LHD 8 has a gas-turbine propulsion system and all-electric auxiliaries that are going to save $10 million a year in operating costs compared to the steam-powered LHDs, but that couldn't account for it costing $100 million more than LHD 7, let alone $575 million more.

Hey, Admiral Nanos, what ever happened to "more bang for the buck"?  You could buy four DDGs or three LPDs with this money.  A year ago, you were challenging the shipbuilding industry to cut its costs by 10%.  The industry and the Navy's friends in Congress are up in arms at the inadequacy of an SC,N budget that only buys 5 or 6 ships a year, but if you keep ordering ships that are as expensive as this one, you'll be down to 3 or 4 ships a year.  Come on, let's hear it: how exactly do you justify paying 70% more for LHD 8 than you paid for LHD 7?

I say, cancel this contract now and spend the money on more DDGs.  Tim Colton, April 19, 2002.

   GENERAL DYNAMICS OUTSHINES NORTHROP GRUMMAN.  Here are the comparative figures from the two companies' first quarter reports, both of which were released yesterday.  The numbers really speak for themselves but that won't stop me from commenting on them anyway.  First, in both cases, the shipbuilding operations are less profitable than the companies' other business activities.  Second, by anybody's standards, the shipbuilding profit margins are unsatisfactory (although they are much better than those of any large foreign shipbuilder).  Third, GD is significantly more profitable than NOC.  Having pointed out these simple facts, it's remarkable that the spin in the press has been that NOC's results are good and GD's aren't, possibly because journalists, being liberal arts types, just look at gross numbers and, gee, NOC's sales and profits have both doubled, while GD's have only gone up a little bit.  Fortunately, the market knows better: NOC's stock, which had been rising on Tuesday, fell $2 yesterday after the company reported, while GD's stock, which had been falling on Tuesday, rose $2 yesterday after the company reported, on very heavy trading.  Whooba!  I know which company I prefer.  Tim Colton, April 18, 2002.

Item Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) General Dynamics (NYSE:GD)
Period 1Q 2002 1Q 2001 1Q 2002 1Q 2001

Total Company

Net Sales ($mm) 4,086 1,986 3,121 2,673
Operating Earnings ($mm) 317 140 365 334
% of Sales 7.8% 7.0% 11.7% 12.5%
Net Profit ($mm) 149 103 229 240
% of Sales 3.4% 5.2% 7.3% 9.0%
Earnings per Share $1.27 $1.81 $1.13 $1.05

Shipbuilding Operations

Net Sales ($mm) 1,077 --- 864 862
Operating Earnings ($mm) 79 --- 73 80
% of Sales 7.3% --- 8.4% 9.3%

Non-Shipbuilding Operations

Net Sales ($mm) 3,009 1,986 2,257 1,811
Operating Earnings ($mm) 238 140 292 254
% of Sales 7.9% 7.0% 12.9% 14.0%

   MARAD AUCTIONING OFF DEFAULTED ASSETS.  The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) currently has no fewer than four advertisements running in the international technical press:

   NAVY NOT FUNDING MAINTENANCE OF THE READY RESERVE FORCE.  Saddam Hussein can relax.  The U.S. Navy is obviously not expecting to have to go to war at any time in the next few years, because it is reliably reported to have cut back on the funding of the routine maintenance of the Ready Reserve Force, which is managed for the Navy by the Maritime Administration.  As a result, several ROS-5 ships, which are fully crewed and supposed to be ready to go on 5 days' notice, have had to be reclassified as ROS-10 and their crews sent home.  It is also reliably reported - and this is really hard to believe - that Military Sealift Command recently needed a tanker in the Indian Ocean and chartered one with an Iraqi crew.  What is it with these guys?  Don't they read the papers?  Tim Colton, April 11, 2002.

   COAST GUARD YARD TO COMPETE WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR?  Senator Mikulski has introduced legislation that would allow the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore to compete with private-sector shipyards for commercial work and for government small-vessel contracts, such as the Navy's upcoming 35-vessel LCU(R) program.  Bad idea.  We've been down this track many times before, both with the Coast Guard Yard and with the Naval Shipyards.  Competition between government entities and private-sector entities is not and cannot be fair and open.  Government entities do not have to make a profit or earn a return for their stockholders and they do not incur all the indirect costs that a private-sector shipyard does, such as, for example, interest, insurance and the cost of bonds.  Forget this hare-brained scheme.  Let the Yard stick to what it's doing or, better, close it down.  We don't need it.  There's nothing that the Coast Guard Yard does that the private-sector yards don't do better.  Tim Colton, April 11, 2002.

   SHIPBUILDERS COUNCIL PUBLISHES ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY.  The Shipbuilders Council of America has published a study entitled "The Economic Contribution of the U.S. Commercial Shipbuilding Industry", which demonstrates that the U.S. commercial shipbuilding business, i.e., NOT the naval shipbuilding business, generated $11 billion in total output in 2001, supporting 147,000 jobs and generating $3.4 billion in federal, state and local government tax revenues.  Further details and comment to follow.  Tim Colton, April 11, 2002.

   LPD DEAL IN THE WORKS.  Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and the Navy are reported to be negotiating a deal under which Bath Iron Works would give up its subcontract from Avondale for 4 of the 12 "San Antonio" class LPDs, in return for some more "Arleigh Burke" class DDGs.  This is a good idea, one that ought to result in a significant reduction in the total cost of the 12 LPDs and remove a lot of risk from BIW's medium-term outlook.  It would require congressional approval, of course, but that shouldn't be a problem.  How many DDGs should they get in exchange for the four LPDs?  Six?  Seven maybe?  Eight even?  Tim Colton, April 11, 2002.

   FGH CEO RESIGNS.  John Alford, the popular but beleaguered President and CEO of Friede Goldman Halter, finally resigned on April 1, having apparently found it impossible to continue working with the company's board of directors, bankruptcy lawyers and restructuring consultants.  Rumor has it that at least one other senior officer is not far behind.  Late on April 4, the FGH board elected chief restructuring advisor and well-known shipbuilding expert Jack R. Stone, Jr., as President and CEO, a move that will no doubt be greeted with joy by employees and creditors alike.  Tim Colton, April 4, 2002.

   SEA STAR LINE TO BUY NAVIERAS DE PUERTO RICO.  Following hard on the news that CSX Lines is for sale comes word that Tom Holt has agreed to sell Navieras de Puerto Rico to Sea Star Line, subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.  (The Court has now approved this deal, which will be effective at the end of April.  April 11, 2002.)

Sea Star Line is privately held: its major investors are Matson Navigation and Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE).  The company currently operates two elderly trailerships in Jones Act Service between Jacksonville and San Juan.  Originally built by Sun Ship for the long-defunct Pacific Far East Line, these ships are similar to the trailerships operated by Matson in the Hawaiian trade and TOTE in the Alaskan trade.

Vessel Name

Vessel Type

Year Built

Where Built

L

B

D

HP

GT

DWT

El Morro

Ro-ro

1974

Sun

827

106

31

22,100

24,900

22,000

El Yunque

Ro-ro

1974

Sun

827

106

31

22,100

24,900

22,000

Navieras de Puerto Rico is owned by the Holt Group of Philadelphia, which has been in Chapter XI since March 21, 2001.  The company currently operates five ancient "Lancer"-class containerships in Jones Act liner service between Philadelphia and Jacksonville, and San Juan.  Originally built by Sun Ship for United States Lines, these were the first pure cellular containerships.  (I am reminded by Jim Larsen that they were actually being built as break-bulk cargo ships when John McMullen bought U.S. Lines and had them reconfigured as containerships before delivery.)  Steam-powered, they burn huge quantities of fuel and are about as obsolete and inefficient as it's possible to be.  An embarrassment to the U.S. flag, the only thing they are good for is razor blades.  So why is Sea Star Line buying NPR?  To get its San Juan terminal.

Vessel Name

Vessel Type

Year Built

Where Built

L

B

D

HP

GT

DWT

Humacao

Containership

1968

Sun

701

90

32

20,100

19,200

20,900

Mayaguez

Containership

1968

Sun

701

90

32

20,100

19,200

20,900

Guayama

Containership

1969

Sun

701

90

33

20,100

19,200

20,900

Nuevo San Juan

Containership

1970

Sun

701

90

33

20,100

19,200

20,900

Carolina

Containership

1971

Sun

701

90

33

20,100

19,200

20,900

TOTE is building two new and larger ships at NASSCO to replace its three trailerships, while Matson is in the early stages of a fleet renewal program.  Will either or both of these two companies pass their old trailerships on to Sea Star Line to replace NPR's old containerships?  Or will they really step up and build some new ships?  And will MARAD help?  Wait and see.  Tim Colton, April 3, 2002.

For comment on maritime news reported in the first quarter of 2002, click here.

For comment on maritime news reported in 2001, click here.

If you have comments or questions, suggestions or complaints, please e-mail me.