Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How is Maersk Alabama a U.S. Flag ship?

The vessel Maersk Alabama, hijacked yesterday, was built in Taiwan. However, it has a U.S. crew. It is owned by a Danish company, but was "reflagged" as a U.S. Ship, by a special program of Marad (Maritime Administration).

Here is the fact sheet from Maersk for the Alabama

Maersk Alabama fact sheet

Owned and operated by Maersk Line, Limited (
Capacity: 1,100 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit)
Geared: Yes, two cranes
Length: 155 meters
Width: 25 meters
Deadweight: 17,525 tonnes
Service speed: +18 knots
Build year: 1998
Built in: Taiwan
Flag: US
Home port: Norfolk, VA.

Maersk Alabama is deployed in Maersk Line’s EAF4 (East Africa 4) service. The rotation is Salalah, Djibouti, Mombasa.

Maersk Alabama is carrying 400 twenty-foot containers of food aid for amongst others WFP (World Food Programme).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From in 2006

Seems maybe the Maersk Line ships fulfills a military/security function for the US Government. Was the "Maersk Alabama" formerly the "Alva Maersk" a decoy?

"Maersk A-Class

Maersk Line, Limited is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and is one of the Department of Defense's primary shipping contractors. It has been a reliable partner for the government in peacetime and war for almost 30 years. The company operates vessels registered in the United States in full compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. It manages a fleet of nearly 50 ships in commercial and government service, including vessels requiring Top Secret security clearances. Maersk Line, Limited, a subsidiary of Denmark's A.P. Moller/Maersk A.S., is independently controlled by a board of directors comprised entirely of U.S. citizens.

A. P. Moller Singapore was established 8 March 1978 as "The Maersk Company Singapore" and started out with two container feeder vessels " Maersk Mango" and "Maersk Tempo". In 1988-1989 nine vessels were purchased - three container vessels (Alva Maersk /Arild Maersk /Brigit Maersk),three product/crude carriers (Maersk Virtue/Maersk Nautilus/Maersk Neptune) and three pure car carriers (Maersk Crest/ Maersk Cloud/ Maersk Sky).

On October 1, 2004 Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) announced that it had signed agreements with the Maritime Administration that will transfer six Maritime Security Program (MSP) operating agreements to modern containerships that will replace six existing MSP vessels built in the 1980s and managed by U.S. Ship Management, Inc. (USSM). The new replacement vessels are: Sealand Intrepid, Sealand Lightning, Sealand Charger, Sealand Comet, Sealand Meteor and Alva Maersk.

Seafarers are sailing aboard five containerships operated by Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) that have transferred into the U.S. Maritime Security Program, replacing older tonnage. Agreements were signed Oct. 1, 2004 between MLL and the U.S. Maritime Administration to transfer the Maritime Security Program contracts on six existing SIU-crewed MSP vessels built in the 1980s and managed by U.S. Ship Management, Inc. (USSM) to six newer containerships.

Seafarers crewed up MLL's Sealand Charger Oct. 28 in Los Angeles; the Sealand Meteor Nov. 9 in Dubai; the Alva Maersk -since renamed the Maersk Alabama-Nov. 10 in Dubai; and both the Sealand Intrepid and Sealand Comet Nov. 16 in Los Angeles. The Sealand Lightning was due to join the fleet in Southern California. A sixth MLL vessel was scheduled to enter the fleet in late November or early December 2004.

MSP age limits require that older vessels be replaced in the current program before reaching 25 years of age. The replacements were approved by the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Transportation Command and represent a significant improvement in the ability of MLL's U.S.-flag fleet to serve its military and commercial customers. All vessels will be integrated into MLL's existing U.S.-flag fleet operations, streamlining operations and creating efficiencies in MLL's global network of intermodal assets, including terminals, cranes, logistical platforms, computerized management systems, containers and chassis. The transfers will strengthen the MSP for military purposes and enhance the U.S.-flag presence in international shipping."