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Trade Press Release

MacGREGOR supports Matson in creating combi-RoRo container ship


Sealift ships sign up for MacGREGOR Onboard Care

Two Large-Medium Speed RoRo ships in the US Military Sealift Command fleet, now under new management, continue with MacGREGOR for twice-annual equipment inspections and maintenance

MacGREGOR provides the highest cargo system reliability and harmonised maintenance practices aboard two newly managed US Military Sealift Command vessels. Reliability of these systems is critical to the completion of missions assigned to these ships.

The cargo flow systems are to these vessels what the weapons system is to a combatant ship. Without completely reliable and fully functional cargo flow systems these vessels cannot load or deliver the valuable and timely supplies required.

In the US, MacGREGOR Service division is embarking on its newest round of five-year contracts for Military Sealift Command 20 LMSR-type (Large-Medium Speed RoRo) ships and eight FSS (Fast Sealift Ships). These carry cargoes ranging from mobile hospitals, disaster relief supplies, and support equipment for the troops in the Middle East, and are to be welcomed back into the portfolio of vessels benefiting from MacGREGOR Onboard Care (MOC) initiative.

The two LMSR ships, USNS Gilliland (T-AKR 298) and USNS Gordon (T-AKR 296), are now under the management control of the successful bidder, 3PSC, which will now operate them for the US Government for up to the next five years. Both USNS Gilliland and USNS Gordon had benefited from MacGREGOR Onboard Care programme under the previous management company, and as a result had not suffered any delays or downtime due to unanticipated emergencies or cargo flow system equipment failures.

According to Chris Lloyd, MacGREGOR US special projects manager: The selection of MacGREGOR by 3PSC is a much welcomed endorsement of the success of the previous programme. It provides the management company and its military users with peace of mind that all MacGREGOR equipment systems will work when required to do so. We are in the process of demonstrating the advantages of the programme to the other new management teams, and we welcome 3PSC as the first new ship manager back into the MOC programme.

Under the agreement, MacGREGOR provides the ship management company two routine inspections a year of all RoRo access systems, hatch covers and cranes. The inspection work is completed under a fixed-price agreement that includes incidental spares and tuning of the systems, and includes more than 2,050 points of inspection.

MacGREGOR then provides a condition report of all of the systems included in the service agreement and lists any discovered deficiencies that are categorised as to their seriousness and need for immediate or deferred correction. In this way the management company can make recommendations to the Military Sealift Command and plan for funding to support near-term and future maintenance requirements for its cargo systems. MacGREGOR, if agreed by the client, is immediately on-hand at that point to undertake cargo system repairs that might otherwise lead to near-term failure and perhaps put the vessel mission at risk, thereby maximising continuous operational availability.

Prior to the latest round of tenders in 2006 that resulted in a major change in management for many of the multi-ship Military Sealift Command fleet, MacGREGOR Onboard Care services were contracted for 19 ships including 11 of the LMSRs and eight FSS. One of the previous management companies stated that in large part due to MacGREGOR MOC, its fleet cargo access equipment experienced uninterrupted uptime during the performance of their missions during a period of unprecedented use.

Based on the previous MacGREGOR Onboard Care successes, American Tern, managed by American President Lines (APL), was also put under MacGREGOR care. T-AK-4729 American Tern is a 53,000 dwt container ship operated by Military Sealift Command under its Logistics Pre-positioning Ship programme (LPS).

The vessel is operating under a time-charter to the US Government and provides an important supply link to the US Antarctic Expedition at McMurdo Sound. American Tern was built in Germany in 1990 to Finnish Ice class 1A specification. For this vessel MacGREGOR provides an annual inspection service to ensure reliable operation of all cargo access systems including cranes and hatch covers on the vessel.

Cylinder replacement programme for Military Sealift Command

The first phase in a hydraulic cylinder replacement programme is reaching completion in the US Military Sealift Command fleet of LMSR (Large-Medium Speed RoRo) vessels. The LMSR fleet, for which MacGREGOR designed, fabricated and installed a suite of cargo access systems comprising cranes, RoRo and hatch cover systems, is the showpiece of the US military seaborne logistics capability. All of the external cargo systems are of MacGREGOR design and have been made the fleet Class Standard.

During the course of previous MacGREGOR Onboard Care inspections it was discovered that the useful life of all of the hydraulic cylinders actuating the cargo systems could be significantly extended leading to continued system reliability. A project then evaluated the benefits of a cylinder exchange programme and MacGREGOR was awarded a contract to replace the cylinders on eight of the 20 LMSR vessels. This extensive work was undertaken over a period of two years working around the vessels schedules as they were heavily employed in support of US troops during that time.

To facilitate the programme in a timely manner one new shipset of hydraulic cylinders was purchased to initiate the replacement of the first vessel shipset of cylinders and release the existing cylinders for refurbishment. This was then followed by systematic part-exchange of cylinders on the remaining ships using the refurbished equipment.

Refurbished fleet

USNS Bob Hope remains the last LMSR in the series to be refurbished under the contract. The other ships in the programme included newbuildings and converted vessels:

USNS Fisher (TAKR-301) delivered August 1999
USNS Seay (TAKR-302) delivered March 2000
USNS Mendonca (TAKR-303) delivered January 2001

USNS Shughart (T-AKR 295) converted in 1997
USNS Gordon (T-AKR 296) converted in 1997
USNS Yano (T-AKR 297) converted in 1997
USNS Gilliland (T-AKR 298) converted in 1997.

The replacement work was carried out by MacGREGOR service team at various locations around the US both in shipyards and afloat at lay berths. Locations included Boston, Norfolk, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Corpus Christi.


For further information please contact:

Bj¶rn Stenwall, Sales Director, Service Division
Tel: +358 2 4121 330 Fax: +358 2 4121 269


MacGREGOR Group press office:
Mr Steve Labdon, MacGREGOR Group Media Representative
Tel: +44 (0)20 8364 1441 Fax: +44 (0)20 8364 1331

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