Commercial Logistics: US Flag Ocean Carrier Perspectives
Mike Chapell, President at Global Logistics Providers (GLP), provided an overview of the US-flag industry during the US Flag Ocean Carrier Perspectives course at the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting on October 7, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.
GLP provides inland logistics in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with a focus on coordinating government services. In dealing with government entities, several common challenges have become apparent. These challenges include issues related to sovereignty of rule, local politics, and customs, bureaucracy, compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Since the 1960s, the number of ships in the world fleet has increased substantially, while the number of ships in the US fleet has decreased. Over that same time, vessel size has also grown substantially. Several programs and laws—the Maritime Security Program (MSP), National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), Jones Act, Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), and Cargo Preference—factor into maintaining the size of the US-flag fleet.
The US Fleet faces several challenges. These include a shrinking fleet, budget constraints, attacks on the Jones Act, the Defense Department’s need to project in austere locations, an aging NDRF, crewing shortfall, contracting complications, and operating in austere environments.