Shipbuilding and Repair Work Dries Up at Philly Shipyard

philly shipyard
Photo: Philly Shipyard

All shipbuilding and repair work has completely dried up at Philly Shipyard following the delivery of the second of two container ships for Matson back in March as the shipbuilder eagerly tries to secure more orders from commercial and government customers. 

Philly Shipyard, the leading Jones Act shipbuilder on the U.S. east coast, reported this week that its operating revenues and other income fell to zero in Q2 2019, down from $18.9 million in Q1 2019 and $83.4 million in in the same period in 2018.

Due to a lack of contracts, the company said there is currently no shipbuilding or repair activity going on at the shipyard and all production facilities are idle and both graving docks are empty.

Despite the low level of activity, however, says it is continuing to pursue a mix of newbuild and repair opportunities in both the commercial and now government markets.

As of this week, the company employed only approximately 80 people, down significantly from the approximately 1,200 it employed at the beginning of 2018. The remaining core group of employees is tasked primarily with securing new orders and transitioning the shipyard into a compliant government contractor, the company said. 

Back in July, Philly Shipyard was awarded a contract for the modernization, repair and maintenance work on the SS Antares, the Maritime Administration cargo ship, and it is starting to recall some of its laid-off workers to staff the short-term repair contract.

Philly Shipyard reported total cash and cash equivalents of $58.8 million as of 30 June 2019, excluding $69 million of restricted cash. The company expects to maintain a cash burn rate of approximately $1.5 million to $1.7 million per month on average at the current rate.

Philly Shipyard has been out of work since the 28 March 2019 delivery of the containership Kaimana Hila to Matson. The vessel was the second of two vessels ordered in November 2013.