Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jones Act hinders Short Sea Shipping

Coastwise vessel Beirut Lebanon (Photo by K.C.)

The Jones Act is seen as one of the factors  hindering the growth of short sea shipping. The two salient parts of the Jones Act are the requirement that the crew be U.S. mariners and  that  the vessels be built in the United States. It is the second requirement that hinders short sea shipping. From Marine News via  Navigating Obstacles: Short Sea Shipping

....crewing and flagging of a vessel have very little impact on the cost — it’s the price of building vessels in the U.S. that puts short-sea shipping at a significant disadvantage to trucking
Eliminating the U.S. built requirement would align coastwise cabotage laws with similar  laws which protect U.S. airlines and trucking industries. Both the trucking and the airline industries are protected from foreign  competition but are not required to purchase equipment built exclusively in the United States. A U.S. trucker is free to purchase a truck from say Volvo and U.S. airlines can purchase an Airbus if they wish.

Obviously there would be winners and losers if the built in U.S. requirement was dropped. The winners would be American mariners, other highway users, our economy  and the environment.


Other views:

Jones Act thread at gcaptain forum.

From Kelly Sweeny Encourage short-sea shipping, but keep the Jones Act intact

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