The Jones ACT and other U.S. maritime cabotage laws and statutes require cargo and passengers shipped between U.S. ports to be moved on vessels that are U.S. owned, U.S. crewed and U.S. built. Dredging, towing and marine salvage are likewise reserved for American vessels. It is estimated that the domestic maritime industry is responsible for nearly 500,000 jobs and more than $100 billion in annual economic output.
The boom in Gulf oil and gas drilling has led to major increases in new vessel construction orders for U.S. shipbuilders. Even shipbuilders located on the Great Lakes and other parts of the country are benefitting from this increase in new build activity for shipping companies operating in the Gulf since many Gulf shipbuilders are unable to take on additional new build projects at this time.
Currently, other sectors of the maritime industry are gearing up for anticipated significant growth that will result from larger post-Panamax vessels going through the Panama Canal upon completion of the Canal’s expansion program. Companies that this will affect include port terminals, dredging companies, and marine transportation companies (e.g., feeder tug and barge operators transporting cargo from larger vessels into smaller ports along the East Coast).
Shipbuilding: U.S. shipyards doing new construction and repair work;
Shipping: Jones ACT shipping including companies operating on the Great Lakes;
Marine Transportation: Coastwise and inland tug and barge companies as well as heavy-lift transport and towing;
Terminal Operations: Port terminal operations including stevedores servicing;
Salvage: Marine salvage and marine construction; and
Harbor Maintenance Services: Dredging companies doing conventional and environmental dredging.
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