WINTER 1959-60

Stories contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.

(Courtesy of John-Paul DeRosa)

 

Holt Honored with Cruzeiro do Sul Award

 George L. Holt

Mooremack Exec. V.P. George L. Holt receives Cruzeiro do Sul award from Brasillan Foreign Minister Horacio Lafer, as Mrs. Holt looks on.

GEORGE L. HOLT, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT of Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., was awarded the "National Order of the Cruzeiro do Sul" by the Brasilian Government, October 10th in Rio de Janeiro. The Hon. Horacio Lafer, Foreign Minister of Brasil, made the formal presentation on behalf of President Juscelino Kubitschek.

In attendance at the ceremonies were the U. S. Ambassadors to Brasil and Paraguay and high-ranking members of the diplomatic corps, together with distinguished representatives of U. S. and Brasilian business.

Mr. Holt was tendered a luncheon at the U. S. Embassy at which Mme. Kubitschek, wife of the president, together with U. S. and Brasilian government officials and military and business leaders joined in honoring him.

Mr. Holt joined Moore & McCormack Co., Inc. (predecessor of Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.) in 1926. He was elected vice-president in 1938 and later executive vice-president. Mr. Holt has had constant contact with Brasil and its people throughout his years of experience, possessing an intimate knowledge of Brasil’s economic, social and shipping problems. His warm interest in Brasil has "certainly established better relations between ..." the U. S. and that country, according to Brasilian newspapers which add, "the decoration which our government has just awarded him emphasizes the work developed by him toward mutual benefit and understanding."

     

 

Mrs. Lee to Christen New Cargo Liner

Mrs. Robert C. Lee 

Mrs. Robert C. Lee

MRS. R. C. LEE, WIFE OF THE CHAIRMAN of the Board, will transform Hull 617 at the Sun Shipyard and Drydock Corp. in Chester, Pa., into the S.S. Mormacpride, first of the new cargo ships, on February 1st. She will christen the modern freighter at a launching ceremony attended by U. S. Government dignitaries, press representatives, and Mooremack officialdom.

The new ship (part of a $430,000,000 rebuilding program) is a special design modification of the C-3 freighter, type 1624. She will cost more than $10,000,000; will be over 484 feet long, 61 feet wide and 10,460 deadweight tons. The Mormacpride will have deluxe accommodations for 12 passengers. And — special innovations such as air-conditioning throughout and hydraulic hatch covers will combine to make her the "pride" of the "new" Mooremack fleet.

Model of new cargo ships - Moore-McCormack Lines

This is a model of the new ships.

 

     

 

"Are we Pricing Ourselves Out of World Markets?"

By William T. Moore

President, Moore-McCormack Lines

(Special to "The Forwarder")

The question of whether we are pricing ourselves out of world markets has been given some consideration during the past year. Much has been written on both sides of the story. However, it is doubtful whether we are facing-up to and identifying ourselves with the real problem.

Some people in both government and business are willing to ride along on the premise that we, the greatest industrial nation in the world, have nothing to fear and the statement that we are "pricing ourselves out of the world markets" is a myth and a catch-phrase.

During the years following World War II, the United States occupied a privileged position since it was the only country capable of meeting the immediate needs of the world by being able to produce tremendous quantities of goods for export. During those post war years, we were able to export almost anything without much fear of competition from other nations. Through our system of free and competitive enterprise, we not only sold our machine tools and techniques but also our know-how on mass production. In addition, we built up abroad large industries and enterprises through the various government aid programs.

New modern industries have grown up throughout the world. In many cases, their factory capacities far exceeded the needs of their domestic buying power. The results are obvious. They are able now to mass-produce goods, and with our techniques and know-how, are underselling us in the world markets.

Over the years, we have been recognized as the masters of merchandising our wares at home and abroad. There is no doubt that we shall continue to execute that technique of ours; however, there are many factors which are working against us. Our salesmen can be the best in the world and offer prompt deliveries. In today’s foreign market, it is not the "prompt delivery" angle that is going to get the order but rather a twenty to forty percent reduction in the price offered and that’s how our competitors have cut into our trade. It is agreed that "prompt delivery" in some cases might influence a foreign order but such incidents in today’s world market are almost negligible.

There are those who will refuse to consider currency inflation as a factor in our very serious export decline. They are literally sticking their heads in the sands of inflated money and refusing to take a look at realities. At one time, we used the machine tool and the automobile trades as a gauge for our export trade. Machine tool exports have fallen off by better than forty percent and automobile exports during the past ten years have dropped off by fifty percent. As a result, there is little likelihood for either industry to wholly recapture their lost markets.

The wage-price squeeze together with the fringe benefits constantly demanded by labor has necessarily increased the cost of production. This condition in turn forced prices up to the point where we can no longer compete in our foreign markets.

The foreign trade of the United States is reported to be responsible for the employment of 4.5 million people. This great mass of people is, in reality, competing with their counterparts in Europe — particularly in producing equipment and machinery in which labor is a substantial factor and often represents as much as eighty percent of the cost. Today's hourly wage in the United States is running four to seven times higher than those in Europe.

Labor alone cannot be blamed for the spiraling prices. A share of the blame must be attributed to our government's spending program which encourages inflation. Heavy taxes contribute too because the incentive to save, develop, and pioneer is lost.

We, in the merchant marine, began to feel the recession more than a year ago and it is still with us. We are the ones who have seen the outbound cargo loadings fall off tremendously. Inbound cargo loadings have improved somewhat during this same period. The movement of commercial cargoes — not associated with government loans or aid — to certain areas of the world, now account for less than thirty percent of the cargo carried.

Similarly, the United States shipbuilding costs are posing a critical problem in this country’s effort to modernize its merchant fleet. It costs in excess of ten million dollars to build a cargo liner in United States yards as against less than four million dollars for a ship of comparable size in the shipyards of Japan, Germany, or Holland.

We have to face the facts; our 1959 exports will be down by one billion dollars and the anticipated balance of payments for 1959 will show a deficit of four billion dollars. Whether we want to refer to this situation as a "pricing factor," a "cost factor" or "flight of capital," it all boils down to one fact: we have an uncomfortable adverse trade balance which is draining our gold reserves.

It is hoped that the new policies to be put into effect by the U. S. Government during the next few months will halt the outward flow of gold, put new life into our export trade and increase the outbound cargo carryings.

     

 

     

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