Safeguarding our national security doesn’t just happen during times of global crisis — U.S.-flagged ships do this work every day, and around the clock. Our government trusts carriers like APL with critical operations that secure the future of our country.
When the Covid-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, U.S. healthcare workers were faced with an acute shortage of the supplies they needed to keep people safe from a dangerous and unknown virus. Scrambling to procure personal protective equipment from all over the world, the federal government called on U.S.-flagged carriers to deliver these materials to our shores in a timely manner. American President Lines (APL) helped answer that call, rushing masks, gloves, syringes and other medical supplies into the country.
For more than 170 years, American President Lines, LLC (APL) has been a trusted partner to the U.S. government for ocean transportation and in-country logistics. APL offers secure and efficient solutions through weekly U.S. Flag services linking North America to Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, and Guam. With nine U.S.-flagged vessels, APL is a proud participant in both the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA). APL’s U.S.-flagged fleet, crewed by trained U.S. mariners, provides the reliable support necessary for national defense. American President Lines, LLC prides itself on being the mission critical link for many U.S. government efforts worldwide.
Safeguarding our national security doesn’t just happen during times of global crisis—U.S.-flagged ships do this work every day and around the clock. Our government trusts carriers like APL with critical operations such as moving household goods when military service members and embassy workers are relocated across the globe. These services help our diplomatic staff, U.S. military, and their families smoothly transition to and from duty stations abroad.
Additionally, U.S.-flagged carriers have the responsibility of moving sustainment cargo such as food products, consumer goods, and general cargo from the U.S. to military bases worldwide. These carriers are an integral part of the military’s ability to supply the day-to-day necessities to service members, enabling them to support defense operations overseas. The U.S. shipping industry also transports government-sponsored humanitarian cargo to countries facing famine and natural disasters, which helps people in need and fortifies U.S. soft power and diplomacy.
Why do we need U.S. flag carriers for these services? They give our nation an extra level of assurance. During the first Gulf War, for instance, a large number of foreign-flagged ships refused to enter certain ports in the Middle East that U.S. cargo needed to access. Not one American ship refused. That made the U.S.-flagged international commercial fleet a major contributor to the sealift that sustained our forces during Operation Desert Storm. As conflicts that require our country’s swift response continue to emerge, it is increasingly important that we can count on the bravery and reliability of our trusted American crews for the future security of the U.S. shipping industry.
For centuries, U.S. carriers have developed unmatched industry expertise. Companies like APL have global logistics networks of assets and infrastructure, along with intermodal partnerships, that ensure they get this vital cargo delivered in a timely and secure manner. The federal government is not equipped to handle such a monumental task on its own, and the expense of creating such a widespread, and efficient network from scratch would be prohibitive. U.S.-flagged carriers have the benefit of combining military cargo with commercial shipments to make their operations financially viable, while leveraging the vast intermodal network’s efficiency to ensure the government’s cargo enjoys the highest caliber of efficiency and security.
It is essential that we continue to support, and expand, our investment in the U.S. shipping industry. Doing so allows U.S. flag carriers to remain strong in the face of threats posed by the growing maritime power of our geopolitical rivals.
Learn how The U.S. Deep Sea Shipping Industry Supports our National Security.