On September 21, 1999, the Maritime Administration approved the transfer of Maritime Security Program (MSP) Operating Agreements MA/MSP-13, MA/MSP-14, and MA/MSP-15 from Crowley American Transport, Inc to Automar International Car Carriers, Inc., (AICC). AICC is a subsidiary of American Automar, Inc., an established U.S.-flag vessel operator. AICC will operate the three modern Roll-on/Roll-off vessels FAUST, FIDELIO and TANABATA. The FAUST and FIDELIO are registered under the United States. The third vessel TANABATA, initially under foreign registry, was expected to reflag no later than October 30, 1999. The vessels operate under the MSP and participate in the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program, providing vehicle carrying capacity to the U.S. Government in time of national emergency.
In late 1999 the Japanese vessel 'Tanabata' was reflagged American to carry Department of Defense vehicles and household goods, commercial vehicles, and U.S. government preference cargoes. The 'Tanabata' joined the car carriers 'Faust' and 'Fidelio'. The M/V 'Tanabata' was christened in Baltimore 23 November 1999 as the newest addition to the U.S.-flag car carrier fleet. The 'Tanabata', 'Faust', and 'Fidelio' were operated by American V-Ships Inc., of Mineola, NY. In September 1999, the Maritime Administration approved the transfer of the 'Sea Fox', 'Sea Wolf', and 'Sea Lion' MSP contracts to the 'Faust', 'Fidelio', and 'Tanabata'. The contracts are worth $2.1 million per ship per year. MARAD's approval followed the agency's determination that the sale of an MSP ship does not automatically terminate that ship's MSP contract. At the time, Maritime Administrator Clyde Hart said Congress had "strongly intended" that MSP-authorized in the Maritime Security Act of 1996-be "flexible, commercially sensible, and not unduly rigid."
APL Limited and American Automar are members of the Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL Group) which, through American President Lines, Ltd. and APL Co. Pte. Ltd., performs worldwide container transportation services under the APL brand name, with a fleet of over 70 container vessels and an extensive network of terminals and intermodal systems. American Automar, Inc., which was acquired by NOL in May 2001, provides strategic assistance to the U.S. Department of Defense ("DOD") by the operation for the Military Sealift Command ("MSC") of four pre-positioning vessels, three of which are owned by Automar subsidiaries and one of which is owned by the Government and operated by an Automar subsidiary. Automar has chartered vessels to the Military Sealift Command for nearly 20 years.
On May 22, 2001 APL, the container transportation and logistics provider, and American Automar, a ship-owning company providing U.S.-flag sealift services to the US Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies, jointly announced a definitive agreement for the acquisition of American Automar by APL. Under the agreement, APL acquired privately held Automar in an all-cash transaction valued at about US$50 million, of which about US$15 million is debt. APL had historically been a major carrier of food, household goods and other cargoes for DoD. APL had been seeking to build on its current business with DoD, one of the world's largest users of logistics services. American Automar Chief Executive Officer Bill Charrier, a principal Automar stockholder who founded the company in 1983, said that his company's strategic plan called for capabilities that it did not currently possess. The acquisition was part of planned growth by APL's parent company, the Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL Group).
On Oct. 30, 2003 Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert welcomed a new ship to the U.S-flag commercial fleet at a shipboard ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland. American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers (ARC) introduced its reflagged ship, FREEDOM, which brought important additional sealift capacity to the Maritime Administration's Maritime Security Program (MSP). FREEDOM replaced the TANABATA in the MSP fleet, and the TANABATA remained in the US-flag fleet as a non-MSP participating ship under a new name, RESOLVE. RESOLVE continued to operate in the company's service between the U.S. and Northern Europe. FREEDOM also operated in the service between the U.S. and Northern Europe. The additional Roll-on Roll-off capacity the FREEDOM brings to the U.S.-flag fleet is important in increasing US commercial presence in the international trades and the military utility of Roll-On Roll-Off vessels was certainly proven during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Combined, more than 100 U.S. government-owned and commercially owned/operated Roll-on Roll-off ships provided sealift in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Approximately 84 percent of all cargo moved in Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried aboard U.S.-flag vessels. FREEDOM has a crew size of 18 U.S. citizen mariners. The Maritime Security Program supports an employment base of approximately 2,000 U.S. citizen mariners and the program helps provide a critical base of seagoing maritime employment. This was the third new U.S.-flag vessel that Captain Schubert has welcomed into the U.S.-flag commercial fleet since 2001.
American Roll-On/Roll-Off Carrier LLC, (ARC) is jointly owned by Norway's Wilhelmsen Lines and Sweden's Wallenius Lines. On 01 July 1999, Wallenius merged with Norway's Wilhelmsen Lines forming a joint commercial and operating company named Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Ingar Skaug was appointed President. The merger made Wallenius Wilhelmsen the largest RoRo shipping company in the world. Each parent company had a 50 per cent interest in the new company.
American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier (ARC) is the only US Flag Ro-Ro liner carrier operating in the US International Trades. ARC provides Ro-Ro and break bulk ocean carriage to serve the requirements of the US Transportation Command, Military Transportation Management Command, Department of Defense, Department of State, Maritime Administration, other government agencies and commercial businesses. ARC is committed to the VISA Program and is always ready to provide service to the United States Department of Defense in peacetime or in national emergencies.
ARC transports vehicles and household goods for government personnel, heavy vehicles, helicopters and other equipment for the DoD, agricultural and construction equipment for developing nations, mass transit equipment for municipalities and other cargo for a variety of customers. ARC operates five (5) Roll-On Roll-Off vessels in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Trades. Our vessels provide regular liner service on a 10-day frequency in the North Europe Trade and monthly service in the Mediterranean. With offices and agents around the world, ARC provides port-to-port global transportation solutions for many customers. When ARC needs to deliver services on a point-to-point or door-to-door basis, ARC calls upon the logistics management expertise of its affiliate companies, American Logistics Network (ALN), American Auto Logistics (AAL) and Transcar A.G.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA's business concept is to be a leading international supplier of maritime transport and associated services based on expertise - and with the focus on customer needs. It ranks as one of Norway's leading centers of maritime expertise. Half its employees, who exceed 12 000 people, sail on over 250 ships. The rest work at 260 offices in 65 countries. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines, which is owned 50 per cent, is one of the world's largest shipping groups involved in transporting all kinds of rolling cargo. This company controls 60 car and ro-ro carriers in a world-wide transport network. It owns 40 per cent of Korea's EUKOR car carrier company, which ranks as one of the world's largest in its field and currently operates 85 car carriers. Together with Wallenius Lines, it holds about 50 per cent of the US-based companies American Roll-on/Roll-off Carriers [ARC LLC], Fidelio Inc. Fidelio Limited Partnership, American Auto Logistics and American Logistics Network. The sale of Takamine from Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning AS (100%) to Fidelio Ltd Partnership (50 per cent) in the fourth quater of 2003 yielded a loss of USD 1.1 million.
The names of the vessels are part of MSC's memory bank. MSC staff heard the names of the vessels Tellus, Faust, Fidelio and Tanabata countless times in operations meetings about both routine freight shipments and hasty deployment missions near and far. The vessels are some of the real workhorses of SDDC's distribution operations efforts worldwide. The vessels have carried warfighter equipment, household goods and personal cars for SDDC for years in both calm seas and troubled seas. They have carried cargoes for contingencies, peacekeeping and training missions.
The owner of the ships, American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, of Montvale, NJ, decided in 2004 to rename all the vessels in its fleet to reflect American patriotic themes. The reflagging of the Freedom on 30 October 2004, from the Takamine [not "TANAMINE"], was only one step in a change that affect the entire fleet. Other ship renamings that took place immediately included:
- Tellus renamed to Independence.
- Faust renamed to the Liberty.
- Fidelio renamed to the Patriot.
- Tanabata renamed to the Resolve.
Pacific Gulf Marine operates the Freedom for American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier. The ship is manned in all licensed positions by American Maritime Officers. The Freedom, a sister ship of the former Tanabata, is a pure car and truck carrier built in 1997. The vessel has a total capacity of 5890 cars or 803 trucks and is well suited for roll-on/roll-off, project and heavylift cargoes.
The partly owned Wallenius Lines company American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, Inc (ARC) expanded its fleet of US flagged vessels from five to eight ships. This expansion is part of a strategic focus on the American continent. One of the vessels deployed in ARC comes from the Wilhelmsen fleet, while the two others are from Wallenius Lines. The transition was commemorated by a ceremony on 29 September 2005 in Baltimore, MD. In Baltimore on 29 September 2005, three car carriers reflagged in the United States for commercial service under Maritime Security Program contracts with the Maritime Administration were renamed. The Takasago, Otello and Aida were christened the Honor, Integrity and Courage, respectively.
The Honor, Integrity and Courage will be operated for American Roll-On/Roll-Off Carriers (ARC) by Interocean American Shipping Corp, which now operates the ARC car carriers Patriot, Freedom and Resolve in the MSP. AMO and the SIU will man the vessels. These reflaggings and the addition of the former Industrial Challenger bring the number of AMO-manned ships in the renewed and expanded Maritime Security Program from seven to 12. The Honor, Integrity, and Courage represent new jobs for the union.
The HONOR [ex TAKASAGO] was launched on 15 September 1996, and entered service with Wilh Wilhelmsen, Oslo, Norway on 01 November 1996. On 19 September 2005 the ship was sold to Fidelio Ltd Partnership, Wilmington, USA, and on 26 September 2005 the ship was renamed HONOR. With a GT 49,821 and DWT 19,844 the ship is 190.05 meters long, with a beam of 32.26 m and a draft of10.19 m. Built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries at Oppama Shpyard, Japan, the ship is owned by Fidelio Limited Partnership and managed by Interocean American Shipping corporation. Propelled by Sulzer engines to a maximum speed of 19.40 knots, the ship can carry 5,730 to 6,000 automobiles.
The FREEDOM, the INDEPENDENCE, the LIBERTY, the PATRIOT, and the RESOLVE make up the ARC fleet. ARC Ro-Ro vessels are among the largest and most versatile cargo vessels at sea today. In various configurations, these vessels can transport thousands of automobiles, or any combination of autos, trucks, helicopters and other heavy cargo. They have heavy lift capabilities of 200 tons, over height of 21 feet and over width of 40 feet. In addition, ARC Ro-Ro vessels provide 100 percent under deck stowage and are completely self-sustaining. Ro-Ro vessels provide ease of handling with no disassembly of equipment and can be configured to fit virtually any mix of cargo types because of the vessels' adjustable decks. Whether cargo rolls on its own or is loaded on a trailer or platform, this simple yet most effective way of cargo handling and transport reduces risk and facilitates damage-free delivery.
|Resolve||Tanabata||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||1994||-|
|Patriot||Fidelio||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||1987||-|
|Independence||Tellus||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||1978||-|
|Liberty||Faust||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||1985||-|
|Freedom||Takamine||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||198||-|
|Integrity||Otello||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||198||-|
|Courage||Aida||Oshima Shipbuilding, Japan||198||-|
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