Liberty Promise Formally Welcomed

June 2010

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The setting couldn’t have been more appropriate as Seafarers joined various VIPs in celebrating the entry of the new vessel Liberty Promise into the SIU-crewed fleet. A formal naming ceremony took place May 11 at Naval Weapons Station Charleston in Goose Creek, S.C. – a fitting backdrop, since the ship will be utilized to serve the needs of America’s military personnel (in addition to carrying commercial cargo).

Delivering remarks for the event were (in chronological order) Robert Wellner, executive vice president and COO of Liberty Global Logistics; Philip Shapiro, president and CEO of Liberty Global Logistics and Liberty Maritime Corporation; David Matsuda, acting U.S. maritime administrator; General Duncan McNabb, commander, U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM); and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Majority Whip. Mrs. Emily Clyburn, the congressman’s wife, served as the naming sponsor.

As previously reported, the Liberty Promise was delivered in March and was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding in South Korea. It is the newest roll-on/roll-off vessel (RO/RO) to enter the U.S. registry and meets the requirements of the U.S. Maritime Security Program. The ship is 656 feet long, has a beam of more than 105 feet and can sail at greater than 20 knots.

The Liberty Promise can carry up to 6,500 cars and/or Department of Defense equipment such as tanks, helicopters, HUMVEEES and MRAPS. Put another way, it can carry approximately enough cargo to fill eight football fields.

“She clearly is the most efficient [and] cleanest-burning ship we have in the U.S.-flag fleet and has state-of- the-art modern technology” Shapiro told a local reporter covering the ceremony. “She has a stern ramp at the rear of the ship, which can actually take two tanks, one coming on and off at the same time.”

Mrs. Clyburn said, “We wish this beautiful ship and its crew well. It’s just a wonderful feeling we’re happy to share with everyone here. They all seem to be so very enthusiastic for this event today in the naming of this new ship.”

Among other topics, Rep. Clyburn talked about local maritime history. McNabb spotlighted the key partnerships that exist in the American maritime industry, while Matsuda emphasized the importance of brining new, militarily useful tonnage under the U.S. flag.

In addition to the Liberty Promise, the company’s fleet also includes the RO/ROs Alliance New York and Liberty Pride and the bulk carriers Liberty Eagle, Liberty Glory, Liberty Grace, Liberty Sun, Liberty Star and Liberty Spirit.

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