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A few words on process: I get myself on or near the water and fotograf what passes by. That’s what happened last Thursday morning on my detour as I headed for work. So, I “caught” the McAllisters, Captain Log (the little tanker on the left) and this APL container ship.


After APL docked, I took a foto of the stern: its namesake was the American president of the late 40s and what was really unusual in the world of “convenience flags,” its post of registery is Oakland, home of Kaiser Shipyards, “Rosie the Riveter” and Jack London.


What makes this vessel historic is APL’s decision to create a class of “post-panamax” size (aka C-10s), of which President Truman is an exemplar. It broke the 4000 TEU limit, a 900+ foot vessel launched in 1988, operated with a crew of 21 compared with the crew of 30 needed way-back-when with a 200-foot one. C-11s have superseded this size for over a decade. I believe the largest ships are now over 7000 TEUs and plans are for much more.

My take on the “flag-of-convenience” question is that when it’s convenient for the shipper-ship to be flagged–say, Liberia or Panama–that’s where it’s registered. When it’s convenient for Jones Act compliance for same to have US flag, that’s where APL comes in. This may be grossly simplified, but it seems to convenienceĀ  someone either way.

Anyhow, if the good Prez is Asia-bound, wonder if it’ll see anything at Jabal Al-Tair.

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Tale of Two Marlins

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October 2007
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