US Ocean

US Ocean, LLC – Houston, Texas

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Interview with

Mr. Will Terrill

President and C.E.O.

What can you tell us about the history and ownership of US Ocean, LLC?

US Ocean, LLC started operations of modern, multipurpose vessels under the US Flag in 2002 as an affiliate of Intermarine, LLC. US Ocean was part of Intermarine until April 2018.

When Intermarine began to engage in US flag operations, the focus was on cargo that were financed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Intermarine wanted to provide customers that utilized EXIM with modern heavy-lift capable vessels that had the same capabilities as those operating in the international sector, along with exceptional customer service;

Since the US Flag business began operations, the company has:
-Expanded the fleet to 6 vessels;.
-Increased the size, capacities and capabilities of the fleet:
8,000 dwt to 20,000 dwt.
Lifting capacity from 400 mt to 900 mt.
Increased bale.
-Offers the only commercial vessel under the US Flag with Lo/Lo, Ro/Ro and Flo/Flo capabilities (M/V Ocean Jazz).
-Diversified the business and the fleet for the carriage of military cargo preference cargo as well as humanitarian aid goods.

Vessels in the fleet are commercially viable, but also maintain a greater level of military utility than the original vessels that the company started with under US Flag. The company has the youngest fleet under the US Flag international trade and is a privately-owned US citizen’s company engaging in worldwide operations.

Tell us about the practicalities in today’s world of the US flag requirement. Does it mean that cargo between US ports may only be carried under US flag vessels? Can you give us a few examples please?

Our business is focused on US international trade and not domestic trade. While our company, as a US citizen-owned and operated enterprise, meets the ownership requirements for the domestic trade, our vessels are built internationally and therefore are not eligible for USA/USA trades. The domestic trade is known as the Jones Act.

The US Flag International Trade is critical for the country’s national security needs. As a US Flag operator, we provide the United States government with access to:
An international network

The US Flag International Fleet also provides economic security to the United States. Without the US Flag International Fleet, the country would be entirely dependent on international registered vessels for all foreign trade. 

The US Flag International Fleet and the national and economic security policy that is fundamental to the fleet is supported by the following programs:
Cargo Preference —
Military Cargo Preference Act of 1904
Cargo Preference Act of 1954 
PR-17 (Stating that goods financed by USEXIM be carried by US Flag vessels, so long as such vessels are available and the rate for such vessel is reasonable).
Maritime Security Program 

Let’s say that there is cargo to be moved but there no available US Ocean ship in position in the schedule. Do you have agreements with other shipowners? Can such cargo still be carried under your bill of lading?

At the end of the day, US Ocean is a logistics company and we are engaged with cargo movement on land, over river, at sea and occasionally, by air transport. We are generally engaged in transport to remote or austere regions. Because of our fleet, the vessels that we operate are not dependent on port infrastructure. In many cases, we may deliver the equipment or components to facilitate infrastructure development.

Our network is built around the movement of oversized and over-dimensional cargo, transit to remote locations and complex movement of goods. The logistics moves that we perform reflect our specialisation of operating in remote regions or complex movement of goods. 

Do you also carry commercial cargo that is not bound by US flag requirements?

Commercial cargo is an important part of the cargo mix and for fleet operations. Cargo Preference goods and carriage is necessary for sustaining the US flag international fleet, but we also use our international network for the carriage of commercial cargo that make sense for the company’s fleet.

Could you provide us with some pictures of the ships in your fleet, examples cargo that you have carried etc.?

US Ocean's US Flag Vessels
Glory 8-19
Loading large vessel
Ocean Giant
Ocean Freedom
Ocean Giant
Ocean Giant

Aside from being a US flag carrier, what kind of open competition commercial activities do you offer in the market? Do you run any liner or semi liner service, or do you tramp your available vessels?

US Ocean vessels are engaged in worldwide transport and do not operate in a liner trade. 

US Ocean Jazz

When did you start your career in shipping Will? What made you choose this career?

As a kid, I loved being on the water and have always been interested in boats and travelling by water. During and after college, I sailed on schooners and became interested in commercial ships. I ended up going to law school and practiced maritime law in the private practice for eight years. I joined Intermarine in 2006 as the company’s in-house attorney and gained a lot of exposure to the business of shipping. In 2009-10, I was offered the opportunity to lead the US Flag group and jumped at the chance.

How should potential customers contact US Ocean?

For any inquiries please contact:

Leah Cook
VP, Marketing
US Ocean, LLC |
2900 North Loop West | Suite 1100 | Houston, Texas 77092
Tel: +1 281 885 3500

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