Philadelphia Shipyard to lay off 275 workers because of depleted orderbook

Philadelphia Shipyard on Tuesday announced it plans to lay off 275 workers by July 20.

In notifying Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor about the imminent layoffs, the shipyard cited a depleted orderbook.

It was particularly hard hit when Tote Maritime suspended plans for four container ships to ply the Hawaii-to-US-mainland trade.

That left Philadelphia Shipyard scrambling to find new business as shipowners seem reluctant to order new vessels.

The yard mainly builds commercial ships for Jones Act routes as well as tankers and containerships for deep-sea services.

It has some orders still outstanding, most notably two Panamax box ships for Matson Navigation. The 850-foot long ships will be the largest of their kind ever built in the US.

Philadelphia Shipyard used to be government-owned but reopened as a commercial entity in 1998.

Norwegian holding company Aker Capital is the majority stakeholder in the shipyard with a 57.6% interest in the business.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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