Reports to His Staff
V. Moore, President
Mooremack News," December 1949)
(Courtesy of Vincent
the men and women of the Moore-McCormack Lines family, at sea and ashore, in
the domestic offices, and in Latin America and Scandinavia, I am happy to
extend the season’s greetings, speaking for Mr. McCormack, the board of
directors of the company, and for myself.
We approach the end of a
year that has been difficult in many ways, and rewarding, too, in the
experience which we have gained, in the feeling of satisfaction that comes
with having ventured, and in the knowledge that Mooremack has written
another page in its history.
We face the new year
with a healthy optimism, with our minds and desks piled with plans and with
several challenges facing us. One of the rewards of hard work—or penalties,
if you will, is that the future forever offers a challenge to the man or the
group who is ready to accept it. Our organization, I know, faces new
problems with enthusiasm.
During the past year we
dealt with several disconcerting situations. In Latin America the lack of
dollars severely hampered the movement of cargoes. United States exporters
had enquiries for great volumes of their goods, but the dollars with which
to pay for them were not available. The result was they did not move.
A somewhat improved
northbound movement developed which only in part offset the reduction in
southbound, but all of you realize that a truly healthy shipping operation
cannot depend upon one-way movement. There must be a two- way movement, with
ships carrying profitable cargoes when they go out and when they come home
as well. The backlog of payments due on shipments from the United States to
Latin American importers, standing on the records for some time, has caused
many of our exporters to decline to sell any more in certain Latin American
markets. In recent months this backlog has been somewhat reduced and we have
reason to believe that further reductions will be made, especially in
Brasil. This should be an encouragement to our exporters and increase their
confidence in the market. The result would be, of course, increased
shipments, a share of which we feel our ships should obtain.
The situation in the
Scantic service is a bit different. There our shipments eastbound are quite
good, due partly to the movement of E.C.A. goods, despite the fact we have
not yet attained our goal, which is to carry 50 per cent of the E.C.A. goods
in American bottoms. We have worked to impress upon the E.C.A. that we
should receive our full share of these shipments in line with the declared
policy of our government, but we still have some way to go before we attain
The situation westbound
is more difficult. As you know, the Scantic countries export largely fish,
wood and paper products, and the competition in the United States which
these particular goods face is very severe, what with Newfoundland fish
products and our domestic and Canadian wood and paper products. Devaluation
came after the Christmas buying programs in the United States had been
completed, so the Scandinavians did not gain the advantage from it which
they might have won, had it been timed differently.
I have just made a
two-month trip to our Pacific Coast offices, with return through the Panama
Canal to Venezuela, thence by air to Trinidad and back to New York aboard
the S.S. Brazil. I found much to encourage me on this trip. We now
plan to add a fifth ship to the Pacific Republics Line fleet in order to
provide a regular sailing every seventeen days on that route. We will have
to work hard, terribly hard, to make good on this expansion of service, but
I feel, and those others of us associated with the decision feel also, that
the improved service which we will be able to offer in the Pacific route is
worth all the extra work and worry that the fifth ship will entail.
As part of this operation
we have announced the sailing of the Mormacsun from Pacific Coast
ports with a stop scheduled at the port of LaGuaira, Venezuela in January,
this to be the first call on the new schedule. With our present stop at
Puerto Cabello, we will now have two stops at Venezuelan ports and hope that
we can build up a good trade there. During the year several of our Pacific
Republics Line ships called at the Mexican port of Guaymos, to take on
cargoes for Caribbean points.
A notable change this
year in our American Republics service to South America was, of course, the
addition of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to the itinerary of the passenger ships
southbound. With this addition we are able to offer the traveler an
eleven-day round trip, with 4½ days aboard ship each way, and two days
ashore in Port-of-Spain. This service also opens a field for express cargoes
to Trinidad and we are hard at work trying to develop that phase. Also, it
offers a frequent service to travelers from Venezuela bound for South
America or for the United States, and already we have developed some
business, especially between Trinidad and South America.
I submit this rapid
survey of what we have done, but I assure you one of our biggest problems
involves a matter that is now only in the planning stage. I refer, of
course, to the program of building replacements for the liners Brazil,
Uruguay and Argentina. This is a difficult and important problem
and we are hard at work on it. We are gathering all shades of opinion from
within the organization so that we may eventually go ahead with new ships
that will be worthy successors to these grand three which we now operate. We
are planning to make them fast and handsome and profitable, and I feel
confident we will come up with a good program.
I want all of you to
know what we are thinking and planning, so that all can contribute of our
experience, and as we tackle our day-to-day problems feel that we are all
members of the one team, a good team, as fine a team as American shipping—or
American industry as a whole — can boast.
I ask for your continued
loyalty. May the coining year be a happy one for you and yours.