Crowley converting ro-ros for Ready Reserve service

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Crowley has successfully managed the acquisition of the vehicle carrier M/V Honor, the first vessel acquired under its contract to help recapitalize a sealift fleet with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd).

The acquisition of M/V Honor and the vehicle carrier M/V Freedom will enhance the U.S. Ready Reserve Force by increasing ship reliability and reducing the overall age of the fleet, a crucial component in conducting U.S. Department of Defense sealifts. The force provides nearly 50 percent of government-owned surge sealift capability.

M/V Freedom sails past the White Cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom. Stena RoRo photo

Crowley utilized its proprietary software Shipfax in carrying out the agreement, which allowed for a strategic and data-driven identification of the initial two vessels best suited for conversion to Ready Reserve service. The platform, which will be used in Crowley’s future acquisitions, is able to analyze a vessel’s life-cycle history, develop a condition summary and estimate ongoing operation requirements for optimal vessel acquisition and management execution.

Crowley manages acquisition and conversion under a 2021 federal contract that calls for more vessels to be brought into the fleet.

“Crowley is proud to build on our legacy as a proven government partner with over 20 years of partnership with MarAd,” said Crowley’s Miles Spratto, program manager for vessel acquisition. “The Freedom and Honor will help revitalize the Ready Reserve Force, a fleet critical to our national security. We look forward to continuing the momentum with additional opportunities to acquire, manage and operate vessels on behalf of MarAd and the U.S. government.”

Crowley is spearheading the acquisition and conversion of Freedom and Honor from the American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group in collaboration with Stena RoRo, Serco and LCE (Life Cycle Engineering), bringing combined expertise in acquisitions, naval ship architecture, engineering and applied technology to serve the contract.

Crowley will oversee any modification and maintenance required to ensure the two vessels are fit for service in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping and U.S. Department of Defense requirements. Following the completed purchase of Freedom and Honor, Crowley will maintain and operate the two vessels on behalf of MarAd.

– Crowley

By Rich Miller