THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003
study also indicates that MSP is the most economically practical
solution for transporting military equipment and supplies. Using
privately-owned vessels provides the U.S. Military with the most “bang
for the buck” as the cost for each MSP vessel is only $2.1 million per
year, less than one-tenth of the estimated annual operating cost of
providing the same capability using government-owned ships.
The U.S. Military has estimated it would cost the taxpayer $9 billion to
replicate the capacity made available to it through MSP and its
associated Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement .
MSP ships sail under the U.S. flag, are crewed by U.S. mariners, are
operated by U.S. companies and are subject to U.S. laws.
MSP is set to expire on September 30, 2005, and as General Handy
testified in October, the U.S. military is fully supportive of
reauthorization of MSP and sees it becoming increasingly more important.
The ongoing war on terrorism may push the demand for commercial sealift
even higher as the U.S. Military engages simultaneously in operations in
“MSP is an unquestionable success and the private shipping companies
that deliver the goods deserve our support–and our thanks,” Admiral
If reauthorization of MSP fails or if the provisions of program
participation are unattractive to commercial shippers, the U.S.-flagged
liner fleet in foreign trades would disappear and force increased
reliance on ships of foreign registry, entrusting military cargo to
non-U.S. crews in times of great crisis. Additionally, a decrease in
these ships means slower response time to international conflict, and
predictably higher costs to the U.S.
“Our military can’t do it all alone,” said NDTA President, Lieutenant
General Kenneth Wykle, USA “We need our commercial shipping partners and
this study demonstrates the absolute importance and tremendous benefits
of this program.”
Specifically, the study finds that MSP:
The Military Sealift Committee is one of the three modal committees
within NDTA that provide a forum for discussions between military
leaders and senior industry executives on issues involving defense
transportation. Chaired by James L. Henry, president of the
Transportation Institute, the committee focuses on the role of the
commercial shipping industry in providing ships, intermodal systems, and
seafarers for the sealift mission.
Organized in 1944, NDTA is a non-political, non-profit educational
association dedicated to fostering a strong and efficient global
transportation and distribution system to enhance economic growth and
security. There are more than 7,800 active corporate and individual
members in the association. NDTA has over 60 chapters in the United
States and overseas in Europe and the Pacific. The national office is
located in Alexandria, VA.
The NDTA report is available on the NDTA website at title=”Get the