SIU Welcomes New Jobs Aboard Maersk Illinois

 

February 2012

 

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One of the newest additions to the SIU-crewed fleet, the heavy-lift ship Maersk Illinois, reflagged under the Stars and Stripes in Mobile, Ala., during the last week of 2011. Both the Illinois and sister ship Maersk Texas–scheduled to reflag U.S. in mid-March–signal new jobs for Seafarers.

 

The Illinois loaded its first American-flag-impelled cargo right after the reflagging was completed Dec. 30, and then sailed for Ghana.

 

“This is an excellent development for our union,” stated SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker. “Additionally, it’s a benefit to national security, in part because these new ships will help maintain a pool of well-trained U.S. mariners who can crew America’s military support ships.”

 

SIU-contracted Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) acquired the two ships in September 2011. They will operate under the banner of Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier (Maersk-Rickmers), a partnership formed by MLL and Rickmers-Linie (America).

 

“We are pleased to see this reflagging process completed, allowing us to introduce our modern ship and bring new value to the U.S. flag project cargo market,” said Dave Harriss, director of ship management and chartering at MLL, following the flag-in of the Illinois. “We are now looking forward to bringing the Maersk Texas into the U.S.-flag fleet as we continue to build the service.”

 

The Maersk Illinois is 485 feet long and can carry 20,000 cubic meters of cargo. It is equipped with two onboard cargo cranes with a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons. The 19,600 DWT ship “is ideally suited for handling of a wide variety of heavy and bulky cargo such as generators, locomotives, wind and gas turbines, hazardous materials and more,” according to the operating company.

 

The multi-purpose vessel is expected to make port calls around the globe.

 

In a separate development, approximately two weeks before the Illinois arrived in Mobile, the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) announced that MLL “has been unanimously elected to membership.”

 

Joseph J. Cox, president of the CSA, said, “We are very pleased to have a quality operator like Maersk Line, Limited join our association. They have been operating various types of ships for a number of years and are well regarded among their colleagues in the industry. All of us in the maritime community take use and stewardship of the oceans very seriously and Maersk Line, Limited’s concerns with safety, protection of the marine environment and efficient operation for their customers dovetail very well with CSA’s mission and vision statements.”

 

Maersk Line, Limited President and CEO John F. Reinhart stated, “We are honored to be unanimously elected to membership in the Chamber of Shipping of America. CSA is a great organization and is addressing a large number of important issues facing our industry including numerous safety and environmental initiatives. We look forward to being an active and productive member of the association.”

 

CSA is an association of thirty-six U.S. companies (many of them SIU-contracted operations) that own, operate or charter vessels in the domestic and international trades of the U.S. or are engaged businesses closely associated with vessels.

 

 

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