US Ocean Voyages Issue #1

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A NOTE FROM WILL Welcome to the inaugural issue of Voyages. With the

release of this quarterly newsletter we aim to give

you some insight into our organization by highlighting the people and projects of US Ocean through

photos and short stories. What great stories this

team has – from the career and retirement of our

dear friend, Joey Da Costa to the hire of Julio Chen.

The contract of this newsletter is intended to reflect our Company mindset of being grateful for our past

and motivated to continue the future development

of our organization and fleet.

At US Ocean, we are positive about 2020 and beyond because of our service offerings. We continue to

remain focused on providing innovative and flexible transportation solutions to our commercial and

government customers. In 2019, we expanded some

of our service offerings and capabilities to make

the transportation process more seamless for our

customers. We will continue to develop upon this

in 2020. We have likewise broadened our network,

which ensures reliability for our customers and posi-

tions the Company for the future.

There have also been some very encouraging developments for US exports, which is an important market

for us. Paramount amongst these developments is the historic seven-year reauthorization of the Export-Im-

port Bank of the United States. A fully functioning EXIM Bank will help to promote U.S industry and inter-

ests in the international arena.

Of course, the success of this organization is not possible without a strong team. A special kudos to those who make it happen every day – from those in the office, to the folks operating the vessels. US Ocean is

truly a unique organization because of you. Cheers to 2020 and a safe, prosperous and healthy year for all!


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Photo credit: Pamela Au/

F E AT U R E :

U S E X I M R E S T O R AT I O N B O D E S W E L L FOR PROJECT EXPORTERS Catherine Dorrough, Special Correspondent | Oct 22, 2019 8:02AM EDT The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) was without a full quorum — and unable to approve

financing of more than $10 million — for nearly four years.

After four years of dormancy, the Export-Import

ing of more than $10 million. This long slump sent

ripples throughout US project cargo supply chains, which had previously utilized direct loans from the

bank to move multibillion-dollar global industrial

projects forward.

Bank of the United States (EXIM) has finally begun

“We’ve had to live without it,” Steve Drugan, senior

its first major decision since its board was restored

com, adding that the lack of a functioning EXIM lead

to resuscitate its mission to finance US exporters. In

earlier this year, EXIM recently approved a $5 billion loan to finance US exports for the construction

and development of an onshore integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) project located on the Afungi Peninsula of northern Mozambique.

John Masterson, senior director of treasury operations at multinational engineering, procurement,

vice president of project forwarder deugro, told JOC.

to many lost business opportunities.

“A lot of our [US] vendors and suppliers and people we work with, we’ve developed relationships with

over decades. They’ve been dependable, repeatable, and we’ve been able to count on them,” Masterson

said. But the bank’s sustained inability to finance

large international projects “forced [McDermott] to

and construction (EPC) firm McDermott Interna-

go out and find new relationships in other parts of

advantage” in sports. “And that’s something we

When an EPC’s clients cannot get US EXIM financing

tional, likened the bank’s activities to a “home field haven’t had in a while,” he said during an Oct. 9 panel

discussion at the Breakbulk Americas conference in Houston.

EXIM was without a full quorum from July 2015

until the confirmation of three board members

in May 2019, leaving it unable to approve financ-

the world, just so we can qualify for a bid,” he said.

“The mandate of the US EXIM Bank is to provide support for US jobs and US exports.” 2

and instead rely on export credit agencies from other

tions on the level of foreign content that may be

other countries will be preferred.

this requirement means that, generally speaking,

countries, that means service providers from those

“All of the export credit agencies around the world

have their own public policies they’re trying to

advance,” said Will Terrill, president and CEO of

included in an EXIM financing package. In practice, when an EPC secures EXIM financing for an industrial

project, they must rely on US supply chains.

EXIM financing also requires following the “pref-

US Ocean LLC, which maintains the largest fleet of

erence cargo” rule, also referred to as “govern-

the US EXIM Bank is to provide support for US jobs

percent of cargo that is covered by EXIM financing

US-flagged multipurpose vessels. “The mandate of and US exports.”

The bank fulfills that mandate by attaching requirements to its financing agreements, including limita-

ment-impelled cargo,” which requires that 100

and transported by ship be carried on US-flagged

vessels, unless the exporter can show that no such

suitable vessels are available.

NOT ALL CLEAR SAILING AHEAD Despite the restoration of EXIM’s full board, a new

risk could hamper the bank’s forward momentum: reauthorization. EXIM came up for reauthorization

on Sept. 30, but as one piece in a larger appropriations puzzle. At the eleventh hour, Congress voted to extend the deadline to Nov. 21, the end of its fiscal year.

Even so, project logistics executives were opti-

mistic about the bank’s eventual reauthorization.

“The general feeling is that this has full bipartisan

support,” said Marco Poisler, chief operating offi-

cer of logistics provider UTC Overseas and chairman of the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council. However, he said, there is a vocal minority that

oppose it.

“We are in a period right now in which we are hoping

that Congress will ultimately come together to pass

an omnibus spending bill. If they do that — and when

they do that — it is very likely that EXIM’s reauthorization will be part of that,” Stephen M. Renna, chief banking officer of the US EXIM Bank, said during the

panel. “We don’t know at this point exactly what the terms of reauthorization will look like.

Renna said there have been proposals to authorize

the bank’s charter for 10 or 12 years, rather than the


current five-year authorization, which would enable it to avoid such frequent political battles.

Also up for discussion is what Renna called a “quorum fix.”

“If the quorum of the board expires because their appointment period expired, and there are not new board members that have yet been nominated

and confirmed by the Senate, there are ex-officio

members who could step in and serve that role,” he said.

“EXIM should be supported because of the national and economic security it brings to the nation...” “EXIM should be supported because of the national

and economic security it brings to the nation,” said Terrill. “Those in Congress who advocate that

government should not be involved with financing

like EXIM provides should give serious consideration

to national and economic security benefits arising

from a fully functioning and operational EXIM Bank.”

EXPANDING INFLUENCE Supporters of the bank also point out that it’s a tool for expanding US influence around the world. When

foreign export credit agencies rushed into the lending void left by EXIM in 2015, observers in the US watched as other countries grew their own global presence.

“Every country is in that race for global leadership

in exports,” said Masterson. “In 2019, every country

is stepping on the gas pedal as fast as possible to

promote growth in their own economies. So, while the other export credit agencies were sympathetic to

EXIM’s plight, they were very willing to try to soak up the additional capacity, which means simply displac-

ing supply chain that would normally come from the US to somewhere else in the world.”

“It became very clear that the Chinese govern-

ment was supporting Africa,” said UTC’s Poisler. “It

wasn’t the only factor in getting the bank back up and running, but it was a factor.”

Kimberly A. Reed, the recently confirmed president

and chairman of the US EXIM Bank, drove home the

importance of the bank’s role in helping US exporters compete in new markets during an executive keynote

at the port of Houston early in October. “Private financing was not available for [the Mozambique]

project given its size, complexity, and risk,” she

said. “We have been told that China and Russia were

slated to finance this deal before our EXIM board quorum was restored by the US Senate.”

The Mozambique project will develop the Rovuma Basin, one of the most extensive untapped natural

gas reserves in the world. EXIM financing supports exports to the Area 1 concession of the project,

which covers approximately 10,000 square kilometers and is anticipated to supply up to 64 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The borrower is Mozambique LNG1 Financing Co.

Ltd., owned by a group that previously included Anadarko Petroleum Co. Earlier this year, Anadarko was acquired by Occidental Petroleum Corp. for $55 billion in cash and stock. Occidental is expected

to sell its acquired African assets to French multinational Total S.A., according to statements from the company.

The majority of the LNG to be produced by the

Mozambique facility will meet Asian demand. However, the project will be transformative for

the people of Mozambique, Reed said. “The proj-

ect is obligated to provide domestic gas, which will support the expansion of electric generation capac-

ity and the development of other industries in the country,” she said.


This October, US Ocean hosted EXIM bank Chairman, Kimberly

Reed and 30 business leaders for a roundtable discussion at Port

Houston. Following the meeting, US

Ocean President and CEO Will Terrill led Chairman Reed and her staff on a tour of the M/V OCEAN GRAND.


S TA F F N E W S :

KELLIE IRIAS NAMED COMMERCIAL AND INTERMODAL MANAGER US Ocean, LLC, operator of the largest and youngest fleet of multi-purpose U.S. Flag vessels, has named Kellie Irias as Commercial and Intermodal Manager. Based in Houston, Kellie will be responsible for the development of new

opportunities and the management of intermodal projects from the cradle to the grave.

Kellie began her career with Intermarine (later ZEAMA-

RINE) where she held various positions within sales. As an Account Representative, she quickly assumed and culti-

vated an impressive portfolio of clients which included energy companies, freight forwarders and EPCs.

“We are ecstatic to have Kellie join our team – anyone

who has met her would testify that she is passionate, customer-centric and hard-working which all align really

well with our values,” said Justin Miller, VP of Commercial Services. “She is the perfect fit for this role. The skills,

relationships, shipping knowledge and energy that she

brings to US Ocean is extremely exciting. We look forward

to great things from her as a key part of our team and of our growth strategy.”

Kellie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from Texas A&M University – College Station. She is a member of the International Transportation Management Association (ITMA). When she is not in the office she likes to travel, cycle and bake.

WOMEN IN LOGISTICS LEADERSHIP US Ocean's Leah Cook and Kellie Irias attended the Women in Logistics Leadership inaugu-

ral conference September 27 at Fluor Corporation's Sugar-

land campus. Approximately 130 women were in attendance

for a day full of informational presentations.

M/V OCEAN GIANT loading military cargo at Canton Pier 11 in Baltimore, Maryland


after she made her way to Corpus Chrisit, Texas, from Dafeng, China


at Yokosuka US Navy Base, Japan, discharging a 420MT YT-804 Navy Yard Tug

M/V OCEAN GR AND at the Port of Constanza, Romania



moored at the Port of Gladstone

M E E T T H E S TA F F Kevin Martel serves as US Ocean’s Fleet Director. Born in Flint, Michigan, he grew up surrounded by one of the

most crucial waterways in the United States – The Great Lakes. His increasing interest in maritime and particularly, Naval Architecture would take him to Ann Arbor, where he earned a degree in Naval Architecture & Marine


Engineering from the University of Michigan. After graduating 14 years ago, Kevin began his professional mari-

time career as a junior engineer at ICI-LLC in Washington, D.C., where he worked on marine firefighting systems. His career would then take him all over the world, eventually landing in Houston – which was supposed to be just

another stop along the way. Six years later, Houston has become home for Kevin and his family. The teamwork and

camaraderie make his job fun! When Kevin is not working,

he likes to hunt, fish, work on cars, water ski, play hockey and cook.



Yellma Rojo Franco serves as US Ocean’s Staff Accountant. Born in Hidalgo, Mexico, she moved to Houston 10

years ago. Yellma made her way to the shipping indus-

try last spring when she was looking for an exciting and challenging opportunity and came across US Ocean’s job

posting. The culture of the company and working with a dedicated team are the things that she likes most about

US Ocean. When Yellma is out of the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. She also enjoys cycling, running and gardening.


JOEY DA COSTA: A COLORFUL C AREER In August we gathered to celebrate the career and retirement of our colleague, Joey Da Costa. From the 12th grade until retirement, Joey was dedicated to the shipping

industry. His experience was an asset to US

Ocean and taught us many lessons, both professionally and personally. Throughout

his career he experienced some remarkable

things, below are the highlights in his own words.

Q: WHERE WERE YOU BORN? A: I was born in Mumbai (Bombay), India. I grew up in Goa which was occupied by Portugal until 1960.

Joey greeting the President of India at his residence in New Delhi.

Q: WHERE DID YOU ATTEND SCHOOL? A: I attended St. Mary’s High School in Mumbai until 11th grade. I then joined the Training Ship Dufferin

for two years where I trained as a navigating cadet. After a certain number of years between each exam I completed my 2nd Mates, Ch Mates and master’s exams in Mumbai which was part of the commonwealth

countries. I did try to complete my sea time for the 3rd engineers license as I had completed the required sea time in the engine room, however domestic issues held me back and I never completed my license. Q: HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN SHIPPING? A: My high school was very close to the naval pier at Mazagaon dock, hence we had the largest number

of students joining the TS Dufferin annually. The

training of two years would give us a remission of

one year for our four years apprenticeship as cadets prior to eligibility for our 2nd Mates exams. I guess I was fascinated with the uniform and that also attracted me to the sea.

Q: DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE AN INTEREST IN THE SEA? A: I had an interest in the sea as I lived near the beach

in Goa and vacationed there every year. I frequently

went to the Port of Vasco da Gama to see the ships loading iron ore and found that a sea career was very interesting.

Q: CAN YOU SHARE SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS? A: Rescuing the crew of a tanker that was burning on the high seas. On my second day as Ch/Mate after joining a vessel in anchorage at Chalna, Bangladesh, I faced a situation where a steward was slashed eight inches on the stomach by a thief. I managed to put a large bandage

around his organs and accompanied him by boat to the hospital. About 18 hours later he had surgery and

I never heard from the office about him. About 40 years later a young man and his father appeared at my door in Goa. The son introduced his father, who was the steward I had helped many years ago.

As Captain of the M/V Iran Towheed, we got caught up at the berth in Khoramshaar when Iraq invaded Iran on Sept 22, 1980. The next day we celebrated my son’s first birthday under blackout conditions. A few days later I unberthed the vessel without a pilot, tugs and radar, navigating the six-hour passage out to sea. At the mouth of the river we were escorted by a U.S. naval ship to safety.

Q: WHAT WERE SOME TOUGH AND/OR REWARDING PROJECTS FOR YOU? A: Supporting a naval architect in building two refrigerated vessels in Japan. Taking delivery of eight vessels in shipyards. Inspecting and evaluating three vessels for purchase solely on my report. Managing production vessel and pipe-laying vessel with 200 staff on board each vessel. Q: HOW MANY YEARS WERE YOU WITH ATL/INTERMARINE/US OCEAN? A: ATL: 11 years, Intermarine: 3 years, US Ocean: 6 years 3 months.

Q: WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING FOR US OCEAN? A: We were a small group of staff managing and operating vessels. Close cooperation with all the staff to

make things happen. More liberty to take decisions with fewer staff being involved. Considerable support

by Masters, Chief Engineers and crews of the vessel. Working closely with the technical managers to ensure our goal of safety was met.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO PURSUE A CAREER IN SHIPPING? A: A shipping career either on the deck or engine side is very rewarding. Besides the financial aspect, this career builds up confidence in one’s day-to-day life and can be a boost to your career if one ever needs to work ashore.

Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT RETIREMENT? Completing projects at home like my outdoor patio and other home improvements. Dedicating time to my grandkids and assisting my children with all the help they need.

A SPECIAL NOTE FROM JOEY: I would like to thank each one of you for making my

retirement party such a fun and memorable one. Meeting up with my previous colleagues from ATL

and Intermarine was most certainly the highlight of the party. With your thoughtful gift of the bell, which

now stands proudly in my patio and is a constant reminder of a job I liked and the colleagues I loved to

work with. My family and I walked away with a ton of memories that we will cherish forever.





NDTA FALL MEETING US Ocean exhibited and participated in the

National Defense Transportation Associ-

ation’s (NDTA) fall meeting and expo from

October 7-10, 2019 in St. Louis. This year marked the organization’s 75th diamond

anniversary. The theme of the fall meeting,

“Fostering Partnerships to Preserve Peace and Prevail in Conflict… Then, Now and Tomor-

row”, was explored and discussed through the more than 70 Transportation Academy sessions. US Ocean’s CEO Will Terrill served

on the panel: Commercial Logistics: US Flag Ocean Carrier Perspectives. The panel

provided an overview on the state of maritime transportation from the perspective of carriers and intermediaries. In addition to

the panel, US Ocean also participated in the show’s annual awards ceremony, where Will

Terrill accepted the 2019 Corporate Distinguished Service Award on behalf of US Ocean. Next year’s meeting has been scheduled for October 5-8, 2020 in St. Louis.


ADMIR AL OF THE OCEAN SEA AWARD The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, James Given, Anil Mathur and Joseph Pyne received the United Seamen’s

Service 2019 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award. US Ocean’s Will Terrill and Justin Miller attended this year’s ceremony to honor the award recipients.




US Ocean’s Kevin Martell participated in the 2019 Maritime Workers Emergency Medical Fund Golf Tournament. The majority of the tournament’s proceeds were donated

to the fund which provides financial assistance to maritime families during major


medical emergencies.

US OCEAN CELER ATED THANKSGIVING with a team luncheon at Truth BBQ.

HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR The US Ocean team held a holiday happy hour at

Bungalow Heights. Cheers to 2019, here’s to 2020!

US OCEAN GIVES BACK: ANGEL TREE PROGR AM This Giving Tuesday, US Ocean supported The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. The Angel Tree

Program provides Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children up to 12, and seniors 62 and older. The team was able to sponsor 19 recipients.

JULIO CHEN ANNOUNCED AS D I R E C T O R O F C A R G O O P E R AT I O N S US Ocean is pleased to announce that Captain Wen Jeong

(Julio) Chen has joined US Ocean as Director of Cargo Operations. With more than 40 years of experience in

the shipping industry, Julio will be responsible for US Ocean’s technical load planning and the implementation

of safe and efficient port/cargo operations. Throughout his career, Julio has been responsible for more than 400

load and discharge operations at ports all over the globe;

and handled more than two million revenue tons of cargo. Julio holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Navigation and Ocean Transportation from National Taiwan Ocean University.

His career has seen a number of operational challenges, but that is what he likes most about the job. The most

challenging job of his career took place on Eustatius island in the Caribbean Netherlands while attending the M/V Ocean Atlas in June of 2013. “Because it was not

simply a cargo related project, but the repositioning of a loading arm from one manifold to another at NuStar Oil

Terminal, all maritime knowledge was involved,” said Julio. “We had to take in to account: tide, current, wind,

sea, swell, the vessel chosen, vessel maneuvering, the pilot, tugs, crane capacity, lifting slings, rigging, timing, and coordination among all parties concerned. Accurate judgements were critical and allowed us to successfully complete the operation in five hours.”

On December 25, 1987, we were aboard the M/V Harbel Tapper where I served as chief mate headed from Monrovia, Liberia, to Newport News, Virginia, with a vessel full

of Firestone’s raw rubber and latex. At around 10:00LH,

the vessel received a distress signal and not long after a SAR plane flew over the vessel to direct the vessel

through VHF to carry out a rescue operation. A sail boat, the “Saci IV” was calling for help. After we prepared a

calculation our ETA to the site was projected to be about 17:30hrs. Without a second thought, the master ordered

to divert the vessel’s course to meet the rescue, on the way we tried to contact the “Saci IV” but our attempts were not successful. Luckily, right before darkness at about 1800hrs, I found the

tiny sail boat in rough seas through my binoculars. Upon approaching the sail boat, we found that the mast of boat

was broken, and a man had tied himself to the broken mast to avoid being overboard in rough seas. We rescued him

and brought him aboard. We then gave him all the warm and comfortable clothes that we had.

Our rescue turned out to be Mr. Andrew Azonyi, a Canadian and professor at the University of Toronto. He was also a

senior member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and sailing from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, before he unfortunately encountered some rough seas.

After settling down, I came to say Merry Christmas to him

and let him know that I was lucky to spot him right before

darkness (which almost made us give up). I also told him that he was brave to sail his boat in such bad weather. He

then told me, “I will do it again if I have the chance; you are a good man, and for sure you are going to do well with the sea as your career with all blessings.” This is the reason

why I chose to make the sea my career and this made me the person that I am today.

WELCOME JULIO! Julio’s favorite places to travel for work are Yokohama, Japan, and Anchorage, Alaska. When he is not

working, he likes to enjoy music and travel with his wife of 25 years, Ginger. His favorite places to travel for vacation are Hawaii in the winter and Seattle in the summer. Julio provides these words of advice

to those considering a career in the maritime industry: face challenges, deal with them and learn from them – this is how you grow! God helps those who help themselves. Email Julio:




submitted by Captain Jonathan Odell, Master, US Ocean’s M/V Ocean Grand

Joshua Maughon is an AB Watch Stander on the Ocean Grand. Mr. Maughon stands the Midnight-0400 and

Noon-1600 watches. He was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and went to School in Baldwin County, Alabama.

After learning about the maritime industry five years ago from a co-worker at a previous job, Mr. Maughon joined

the Seafarers’ International Union and began his work in the maritime industry. He enjoys his work and the oppor-

tunity to travel the world while getting paid. So far most

of Mr. Maughon’s voyages have been to ports in Asia, however, he looks forward to visiting some new places in

Europe and South America. One of the AB’s main duties is as the Helmsman steering the ship. It can be quite challenging due to sea conditions, confined waters, wind,

currents and other vessels. Some crew members struggle greatly and never learn how to effectively steer the

ship. However, AB Maughon excels and is an excellent Helmsman who can be trusted in the most challenging conditions. He is very happy to have a good job in

the maritime industry and proud to be part of the great crew on the Ocean Grand.


Matt Sanford serves as the Captain of the M/V Ocean

Glory. Originally from Traverse City, Michigan, Matt

attended Great Lakes Maritime Academy. He decided to pursue a career in the maritime industry after he was

enlisted in the United States Navy and then decided to

use his GI bill money to attend the Maritime Academy 11 years ago. The variety of cargoes, long ocean crossings and attending foreign ports are what Matt likes best

about the job. He also enjoys meeting people from differ-



ent walks of life and working with a good crew. His favorite place to sail to is the Canary Islands. He would still like to sail to Antarctica, New Zealand, Iceland, Finland,

and Tahiti. When Matt is not sailing, he likes to spend

time with family and friends, ride motorcycles and ATVs,

camp, hunt, mountain bike, snowboard, and play pick-up basketball.

I live and attended school in Maine. I have been going to sea for more than 35 years. In 2002, I started work-

ing with Intermarine on the Industrial Challenger which was later renamed the Ocean Atlas. After the Atlas was flagged out, I worked on the Ocean Crescent and Ocean Freedom before we flagged in the Ocean Glory. I do enjoy

the time off afforded by this lifestyle, it allows time for golf, home repairs and family time.


TELEPHONE: +1 281 885 1800





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