Point By Point

We ended our last commentary by stating the obvious: “The solution? All scanning should be done by U.S. seamen aboard our patented container ships!” … and with good reason.

Two weeks ago, in a UK (PRWeb) Newswire Press Release, this disturbing revelation appeared:

“Several research studies forecast that the maritime smart container industry will grow 60-fold in the next seven years, from $ 70 million in 2006 to more than $ 4 billion by 2012. However, there is still no solution put forward, no standards, and certainly no agreement in sight as to who will foot the bill.”

Those who conducted those studies need to be corrected on a number of points.
• A solution has been put forward. We’ve been promoting it for the better part of ten years, in fact. The revitalizing of U.S. shipyards, along with the employment of thousands of U.S. workers, would make it possible for this country to build our patented (and profitable) container ships. The patented storage and retrieval systems installed in these ships, make it possible to scan/inspect every single container using onboard inspection devices such as the one now being tested by San Diego’s Decision Sciences Corp. It’s a no-brainer.
• Standards do exist. The recent measure passed by U.S. lawmakers requiring100 percent inspection of containers arriving from foreign ports is a standard, and it could be enforced well within the allowed five-year grace period … if we build the ships described above.
• And we certainly know “who will foot the bill”. The U.S. taxpayer, we know, will get stuck for every dime of the funding called for in this “business of fear”. Why not, then, put the issue before these same taxpayers? They’d vote to assure themselves of job security as well as personal security … two concerns that are not being addressed by those in authority.

Revitalizing shipyards? Where would we get the money to do that, you ask? Silly question. We’re propping up the Dow-Jones and we’ve been funding our overseas military operations with “funny money”, haven’t we? Why not do something logical, and profitable, for a change? We wouldn’t be starting from scratch either because there’s another firm down in San Diego that could give us a running start. This announcement was made on August 23rd:

“SAN DIEGO — General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Navy for options to build up to five additional T-AKE dry cargo ammunition ships. Contracts for the ships, valued at approximately $ 2.5 billion if all options are exercised, are expected to be awarded over the next four years. Including nine ships previously under contract, this agreement means that the San Diego shipyard would build a total of 14 T-AKE ships for the Navy …”.

[At $ 625 million per copy, have these T-AKEs ever produced a penny of profit for us taxpayers? Or provided us with the security we’d get from our patented container ships? 14 T-AKEs will cost us $ 8.75 billion. NASSCO could have built more than100 of our patented ships with that money.]