A Letter from the President of National Shipping
In review, 2022 was one of rebuilding and preparing for the future. NSA made a substantial investment in 2022 with the National Glory’s nearly three-month stay in the Tampa Shipyard. Besides the seaworthiness aspects of the 5-year scheduled drydocking, we also required additional work to meet compliance issues regarding climate change. All this work was performed in an inflationary cost environment.
We wish to extend our appreciation for your patience during that trying and difficult period, however, we are pleased to report the National Glory is back in operation and performing well. While in the shipyard, we addressed issues that relate to climate change. In short, ships like the National Glory will be required to ‘slow steam’ to meet mandated emission standards. Our continued investment included new coatings of paint that reduce fuel consumption and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. We also installed a ballast water treatment system that will reduce the introduction of invasive species into our waterways. In addition to these new regulations, we continue to use the highest-grade fuel with the lowest sulfur content – marine gasoil – that also minimizes other harmful emissions like SOx and NOx . We are pleased to announce that the National Glory has been outfitted with brand-new hatch covers at the cost of over $2M to ensure the safety and continuing reliability of the vessel.
One of our 2022 highlights occurred in early November. Transiting northbound from San Juan to Houston and off the coast of Cuba, the National Glory spotted and rescued seven distressed individuals in a homemade raft without power. The crew immediately jumped into action by lifting them onboard the Glory and safely delivering them to the USCG in Key West https://www.seafarers.org/national-glory-crew-rescues-7/. The crew of the National Glory will be recognized in 2023 as ‘Heroes of the Sea’ at the annual Admiral of the Sea Dinner sponsored by the United Seamen’s Service.
I think we all agree that 2023 will be another challenging year as the global economy remains in flux. China has given up trying to eliminate Covid and the virus will most likely spread beyond its borders and keep the rest of the world ‘on guard’ while the situation in Ukraine will continue to add uncertainty to global oil supplies. Both situations will continue to disrupt the global supply chains we all experience daily in the inflationary cost of goods and services
Meanwhile, NSA’s vendors and service providers are asking for more. From the port and terminal operators, equipment lessors, and vessel labor unions, we are faced with increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index and beyond. Our cost structure is now at an elevated level and is only expected to increase in the short term.
As a Jones Act carrier, we have no choice but to recover our costs in order to maintain a viable service. I hope everyone realizes that carriers like NSA were not the beneficiaries of the container shipping boon of the past 2 years, and the carriers’ rates remained stable while the global freight market exploded.
2023 will be a key year for National Shipping. We will celebrate our 10th year serving the US Mainland-Puerto Rico trade from Houston. We are pleased that we have gained the confidence of our customers who see the value of our US Gulf service.
May we wish you a very Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year!
President of National Shipping of America