Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 18-07
Date: Jan 2 2008
Contact: Shannon Russell
Contact Phone: 202-366-5807

New Agreement Expands Opportunities for Americans

First Agreement Signed to Use American Maritime Cadets on International Container Vessels

Washington, DC—The U.S. Department of Transportation announced an agreement that will allow U.S. maritime cadets to serve on international container vessels. The training and experience they receive will give them more employment opportunities worldwide after graduation. There is currently a worldwide shortage of licensed mariners. U.S. federal and state maritime academies have geared up to train more students, but students need sailing time on working vessels to obtain the necessary licenses, and there are not enough opportunities currently available on U.S. ships.

The agreement, signed by Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton and Ronald D. Widdows, Chief Executive Officer of APL Liner Ltd., allows sea tours for maritime academy cadets on board vessels trading internationally. Under the terms of the agreement, cadets from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and all six state maritime academies will be able to sail on board vessels operated by APL. This is the third such public-private agreement to be signed in the past six months, and more agreements are being negotiated. The previous two agreements were signed with Overseas Shipholding Group and SeaRiver, which operate tanker fleets.

“We are working to open up new opportunities to cadets and active mariners,” said Connaughton. U.S. cadets have long had training opportunities on APL’s U.S.-registered vessels. This agreement opens up opportunities on its vessels registered in other countries, Connaughton added.

APL is the first liner company to sign such an agreement. Liner companies provide regular service among specified ports. The agreement is available on the Maritime Administration web site,