The American Dredging Industry and the Jones Act
President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders from the Senate and House yesterday to discuss U.S. Maritime Policy and the Jones Act.
Following the meeting, President Trump assured the Congressional leaders that he is not seeking any changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.
“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Mr. Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this. We appreciate the President’s support for the Jones Act.”
Strategic ports the U.S. dredging companies maintain are ports designated by the Department of Defense to support major force deployments during national defense emergencies.
Ports in Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, South Carolina, Jacksonville, Florida and Beaumont, Texas play major logistics roles, loading cargo to supply American troops in war zones.
Just this past year, U.S. Jones Act dredging companies maintained, deepened or widened strategic seaports around the nation. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD) is nearly finished with the Delaware River Deepening Project that will allow neo/post-Panamax vessels to visit the Port of Philadelphia.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Callan Marine of Galveston, Texas was one of the first dredging companies onsite to help with the emergency.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recognized the effort of the U.S. dredgers, commenting that after the hurricane there were more dredges in Texas channels than anyone can remember.
The channels and harbors in Charleston, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida are continuously being maintained. They are also in the latter stages of widening and deepening projects.
The dredging companies involved in Florida and South Carolina include Weeks Marine, Dutra Group, Manson Construction Co., GLDD, and Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting. Cottrell Contracting is one of the predominant dredging companies maintaining channel access for sensitive naval air stations such as Norfolk Harbor in Virginia.
The American dredging industry is amidst a $1.5 billion dredging fleet expansion.
New investments include four large cutter suction dredges, two large hopper dredges and approximately 50 barges built in shipyards across the United States, including Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, FL, Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, LA, and Halimar Shipyard, also in Morgan City.
In addition, Callan Marine is constructing a massive 32-inch hydraulic cutter suction dredge at C&C Marine Shipyard in Belle Chasse, LA. Dutra Group is currently building two 6,000 cubic yard hydraulic dump scows at Corn Island Shipyard in Grandview, IN.
Separately, Weeks Marine is building a 30-inch cutter suction dredge at C&C Marine Shipyard.
It doesn’t end there, Manson Construction has commenced the design phase on a large-scale, self-propelled Glenn Edwards Class hopper dredge, and Cashman Dredging is procuring long-lead time equipment for the construction of two 6,000 cubic yard hopper dredges.