The Crowley-Seabulk joint venture

All separate Jones Act tanker fleet labor agreements between American Maritime Officers and Crowley and Seabulk will remain in full force and effect under a joint venture agreed to by the two employers on September 13.

This unprecedented agreement will combine the companies’ domestic tanker fleets under the new management banner of Fairwater Holdings LLC.

This joint venture is subject to federal regulatory review – including compliance with anti-trust laws – and is expected to begin operating in the Spring of 2024.

Dan Thorogood, chief executive officer of Seabulk Tankers, will serve as CEO of Fairwater Holdings. This new company will be based in Fort Lauderdale, with field offices in Fairfield CT, Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle.

The Fairwater Holdings fleet will include the Seabulk vessels Independence, Brenton Reef, Seabulk Pride, Seabulk Challenge, Seabulk Arctic and Seabulk Mariner.

AMO also represents the engine and deck officers on Seabulk’s four Ohio-class tankers, the American Phoenix and TORM’s Tanker Security Program vessels, all of which are not intended for the joint venture.

Two additional Seabulk Tankers to be included through this joint venture at the appropriate time are now under long-term bareboat charter to Chevron.

The Crowley ships to be added to the Fairwater Holdings fleet are the Washington, California and Oregon. Crowley’s APT tanker fleet, Stena Polaris and Stena Tanker Security Program ships will not be included.

Articulated tug-barges will also factor into the Fairwater Holdings mix, with Seabulk’s Sea Power, Brownsville, Freeport, Corpus Christi and Galveston. Fifteen ATBs under the Crowley banner will be operated by Fairwater Holdings LLC.

Diverse union representation aboard all covered ATBs – held to varied extents in different locations by the Seafarers International Union, the Inland Boatman’s Union and the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots – will remain in place.

Additional vessels may be considered for inclusion as this joint venture proceeds.

During the development and operation of Fairwater Holdings LLC, our union will hold to two valued traditions – providing the world’s finest licensed seagoing professionals for these tankers and effective day-to-day defense of the venerable Jones Act, which encourages and sustains private capital investment in American vessels and in American jobs at sea and ashore.

AMO will monitor each development and circumstance as it occurs, and we will apply every practical and responsible strategy to make Fairwater Holdings LLC succeed for the lasting benefit of all labor and industry participants.

Paul Doell
National President