New Government Statistics Show Larger, Diverse Fleet

New statistics released by MarAd reveal a much larger and more diverse U.S.-flag fleet than ever before reported.

The data, unveiled by MarAd Administrator Clyde Hart, shows the American fleet actually totals more than 37,000 vessels, and paints a picture of a robust and diverse fleet, with great capacity to meet U.S. shippers' transportation needs while also meeting strict U.S. environmental and safety standards.

The new statistics underscore the value of the U.S. marine transportation system to the U.S. economy as it efficiently and effectively provides American businesses access to world suppliers and markets.

The MarAd report brings into sharper focus the size and character of the U.S.

Jones Act fleet, combining data on self- propelled vessels as well as barges for the first time. It shows 37,308 vessels operate domestically under the U.S.

flag, a far greater number than previously reported.

It also illustrates the diverse nature of the fleet, comprised of a wide variety of vessel types, including 25,698 barges on the U.S. inland waterways, 2,433 ships and barges carrying domestic cargo in coastal trades, and 5,446 tugs and towboats.

Fully 85 percent of the total cargo carrying capacity of the U.S. fleet is accomplished by barges, not only in the inland market, but in oceangoing coastwise and non-contiguous trade as well.

The report is the first comprehensive government accounting of the entire American fleet ever available.

This new system of accounting has long been sought by the U.S. maritime industry as a more accurate depiction of the scope, breadth, and capacity of the

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 15,  Feb 2000

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