Todd President Sees U.S. Shipbuilders Improving Competitive Position
John T. Gilbride, president and chief executive officer of Todd Shipyards Corporation, in a speech on January 23 at The Propeller Cluib, Port of New York, provided his audience with an "inside" viewpoint of the recent findings of the Commission on American Shipbuilding.
As a member of the Commission, he was intimately involved in the three-year study and therefore able not only to amplify some of the findings, but -also to bring them up to date in light of the rapidly changing world situation.
Mr. Gilbride stressed the diversity of the committee membership and how it was selected to achieve maximum objectivity. In describing the Commission's search for facts, he noted that the group visited and surveyed people at 49 shipyards throughout the 12 major shipbuilding countries of the world, and more than 20 additional maritime organizations, government agencies, and consultants.
He praised the Japanese competitive success in the world market and the reasons for it, also pointing out the current problems facing the Japanese which may serve to lessen their competitive advantage. As an example, because of spiraling infla- construction in Japan, a Japanese ship costs twice today what it did five years ago.
Mr. Gilbride dealt point by point with the reasons cited by the Commission report for Japan's strong competitive position, and showed how the situation is changing to bring U.S. shipyards into a better competitive balance. The reasons given are: highly developed technology, excellent labor relations, modern construction methods, fixed prices, unequivocal Government support, and inter-industry and Government cooperation. In several of these areas, the U.S. shipbuilding industry position is improving, and in others, recommendations have been made by the Commission to rectify the problems.
Mr. Gilbride concluded by urging his audience to read the report for supporting documentation of his conclusions. He observed that, since the enactment of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. the U.S. shipbuilding industry has proved what can be done, given a start toward a stable market and the opportunity to build ships in series; that it has, in fact, met the challenge inherent in the Act by meeting or bettering the declining subsidy scale in every contract award since its enactment.
It is Mr. Gilbride's personal conviction that our country will not be self-sufficient in meeting its energy needs in the near future, if at all, and that we will have to depend on imported crude oil to sustain our economy well into the 1980s. He indicated that, as evidence of the private American shipbuilding industry's will to adjust to the changing market, that $500 million have been put into shipbuilding facilities in the last three to four years, and that $300 million of capital improvements are in the advanced engineering stage.
Other stories from February 15, 1974 issue
- NASSCO Launches Largest Vessel Ever Built On West Coast page: 7
- Walter Thorsen, Inc. Named Exclusive Rep For Eleusis Shipyards page: 8
- Oceans International Announces Merger And Expansion Plans page: 10
- McAllister Orders Three 4,290-Hp Tugs page: 11
- Bethlehem Begins Construction On 265,000-Dwt Tanker —Largest Vessel Built In The United States page: 12
- Arthur Levy Boat Service Announces New Appointments For Thomas And LeBlanc page: 12
- Todd President Sees U.S. Shipbuilders Improving Competitive Position page: 14
- Society Of Marine Port Engineers N.Y. Discuss Care Of Turbine And Hydraulic Oil Systems page: 14
- Harwich Tonnage, Inc. Formed In California page: 15
- K.W. Waldorf Named To New Zapata Post page: 15
- Bigger, Bigger . . . Bigger page: 18
- USMMA At Kings Point To Admit Women page: 19
- Storm Awards Contract To Bethlehem Beaumont Shipyard For Offshore Drilling Rig page: 20
- NASSCO Expanding Facilities To Build 150,000-Ton Tankers page: 20
- SNAME N.Y. Metropolitan Section Hears Technical Paper On 'New Approach To The Ship Hull Characteristics Problem' page: 21
- ASNE Annual Meeting Set For May 2-3 In Washington, D.C. page: 21
- Thomas B. Crowley Elected President At Western Shipbuilding Ass'n Annual Meeting page: 24
- FMD Appoints Sanchez To Direct Field Operations page: 25
- Alco Engines Names Comeng Holdings Ltd. Australian Licensee page: 25
- Friede & Goldman Inc. Design Zapata Rigs Building At Avondale page: 28
- Sea Trials And Launching Ceremonies Held For AMOCO Tankers At Astilleros Espanoles page: 28
- Ametco Shipping Elects J.E. Hundt President page: 29
- World Dredging Ass'n New Midwest Chapter To Meet February 28 page: 29
- L. Arthur Strenkert Named Sales Manager Smit Nymegen Corp. page: 31
- Magnavox Announces Offshore Drill Rig Positioning System page: 31
- Paper On Water jet Propulsion Discussed During SNAME Philadelphia Section Meeting page: 32
- Worthington Service Corp. Names Budrick And lennings page: 33
- Zapata Corporation Reports Record Results page: 33
- Drew Chemical Names Rogers Managing Director New So. Africa Subsidiary page: 33
- Luckenbach To Build New Tampa Terminal page: 33
- SNAME Players Perform At Pacific Northwest Section's 27th Annual Fall Meeting page: 33
- David O'Neil To Head New Firm Of Marine Propulsion Consultants page: 34
- Liberian Services —Consulting Firm Elects Wiswall Pres. page: 35
- Diamond M Orders Two Jackup Rigs And A Semisubmersible page: 35
- Management Changes At Dearborn-Storm page: 36
- Tanker Management Firm Promotes Nichols page: 36
- Raytheon Company Submarine Signal Div. Appoints R.G. Popovici page: 38
- Berwind Lines Names Bericochea Exec. VP page: 38