National Security Multi-Mission Vessel Program Achieves Milestone with Steel Cutting of Third Ship

NSMV III to be delivered to Maine Maritime Academy in 2024

PHILADELPHIA, July 11, 2022 – TOTE Services, LLC, (“TOTE Services”) and Philly Shipyard, Inc., (“Philly Shipyard”) today celebrated the cutting of steel for the third National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) destined for the Maine Maritime Academy. 

This event marks another major construction milestone for the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) NSMV program, designed to provide a purpose-built, state-of-the-art training platform for maritime academies in New York Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, and California, respectively. In addition to providing world-class training for America’s future mariners, these five NSMVs will be available to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need. The vessel is contracted for delivery to the Academy in Castine by the end of 2024.

“We’ve reached a historic milestone with the cutting of steel for this ship that will be used to train future cadets at the Maine Maritime Academy,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon. “We’re grateful for the widespread, bipartisan support the NSMV program has received to help make this significant investment in the U.S. maritime industry possible.”

In May 2019, MARAD awarded TOTE Services a contract to be the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the NSMV program. Since then, the innovative VCM contract structure has proven to be an effective model in which the government benefits from commercial best practices to design and construct vessels that are built by union labor in a U.S. shipyard with U.S.-made steel and U.S.-made engines.  

The VCM model has allowed TOTE Services and Philly Shipyard to coordinate closely to meet critical construction milestones for MARAD’s NSMV program throughout the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, economic pressures, and other challenges. 

Construction of the NSMVs will recapitalize our nation’s maritime training fleet, strengthen America’s industrial base, and directly support more than 1,300 shipyard jobs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

In April 2022, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard, a leading U.S. shipbuilder that is presently pursuing a mix of commercial and government work, a contract to construct the fifth NSMV, fulfilling MARAD’s vision of recapitalizing the fleet of maritime training academies throughout the country. 

“Just over two years ago, we received the initial order from TOTE Services for two NSMVs which officially ended our production gap and breathed new life into our shipyard,” said Steinar Nerbovik, President and CEO, Philly Shipyard. “Today, we proudly cut steel on a vessel destined for the docks of Maine Maritime and add a third ship to the active production lines within our yard. I want to thank everyone involved with this project to date and look forward seeing the cadets welcome their new training vessel in 2024.”

“This historic day has been years in the making and – thanks to the efforts of the Maine Congressional delegation – we’re proud to now celebrate the start of construction of the State of Maine training vessel, which will help elevate our nation’s maritime interests and readiness for global humanitarian assistance,” said Maine Maritime Academy President Jerry Paul. “We look forward to welcoming this world class, state-of-the-art vessel to its future home in Castine, Maine and its place in U.S. maritime history.”

Construction of the first two vessels is well underway with contracted delivery of NSMV I to SUNY Maritime College in 2023 and NSMV II to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2024. 

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About the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) NSMV program is designed to provide a purpose-built, state-of-the-art training platform for the state maritime academies in New York Massachusetts, Maine, Texas, and California, respectively. 

This next-generation training fleet will address a critical shortage of qualified officers necessary to crew government and commercial owned sealift ships. In addition to providing world-class training for America’s future mariners, the NSMVs will be available to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need.

The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and have space for up to 600 cadets to train in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea. State maritime academies graduate more than half of all new officers each year—the merchant mariners who help keep cargoes and our economy moving. Many also support U.S. national security by crewing military sealift vessels.

In addition to being a state-of-the-art training and educational platform, each ship will feature modern hospital facilities, a helicopter pad, and the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need. Adding to the NSMV’s capability, it will provide needed roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions.

Ship specifications will be compatible with the pier length, draft restrictions, and mooring limitations at each of the maritime training academies.

Vessel specifications:

  • Length: 159.85 m 
  • Breadth: 27.00 m 
  • Draft, scantling: 7.50 m 
  • Total berthing: 760 people
  • Speed: 18 kts 
  • Deadweight: 8,487 MT

About TOTE Services

TOTE Services, LLC (“TOTE Services”) is a leading U.S.-based ship management company that provides crewing and technical services to meet the needs of commercial, privately owned and U.S. Government vessels. Since 2015, TOTE Services has overseen construction and management of the world’s first LNG powered container ships, activated U.S. training ships to support disaster relief and managed many MARAD vessels. TOTE Services, along with TOTE Maritime Alaska, LLC and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, LLC, are part of the TOTE Group, LLC. The TOTE Group is a member of the Saltchuk family of companies. For more information about TOTE Services, please visit

About Philly Shipyard

Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI) is a leading U.S. shipbuilder that is presently pursuing a mix of commercial and government work. It possesses a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and has earned a reputation as a preferred provider of oceangoing merchant vessels with a track record of delivering quality ships, having delivered around 50% of all large ocean-going Jones Act commercial ships since 2000.  PSI is the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA. Philly Shipyard ASA is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OAX: PHLY) and is majority-owned by Aker Capital AS, which in turn is wholly-owned by Aker ASA (Aker). Aker is an industrial investment company that exercises active ownership to create value. Aker has ownership interests in oil and gas, renewable energy and green technologies, maritime assets, marine biotechnology and industrial software, and its portfolio includes companies like Aker BP, Aker Horizons, Aker BioMarine, Cognite, and Aker Solutions. For more information about Philly Shipyard, please visit

About Maine Maritime Academy
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation to promote the maritime interests of the United States. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation with very high paying jobs. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine. The 2022 Report by Georgetown University ranked MMA #1 among all public colleges for return on investment for low-income students at public bachelor’s degree institutions. For more information about Maine Maritime Academy, please visit

TOTE Services Awards Philly Shipyard Construction Contract for Merchant Mariner Training Ship

Jacksonville, Fla., April 19, 2021 – TOTE Services, LLC, (“TOTE Services”) a subsidiary of TOTE Group, LLC (“TOTE Group”), awarded Philly Shipyard, Inc. (“Philly Shipyard”), the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA (OSE: PHLY), a contract to construct the fifth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV V) for use as a training ship at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif. 

Delivery of NSMV V will fulfill the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) vision to recapitalize the training fleet at state maritime academies across the country. These five new, state-of-the-art vessels will help train new, qualified officers needed to crew commercial and government-owned sealift ships during crises and replace current training ships at state maritime academies in New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Texas and California.      

“TOTE Services is proud to work with MARAD and Philly Shipyard to deliver five new, world-class training vessels to support our nation’s maritime academies,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon. “We have a long history of working with the government and are humbled by this opportunity to leverage our wide-ranging knowledge, capabilities and experience to help MARAD execute on its vision to develop this highly-functional national asset designed to fulfill numerous roles.”

An industry leader in vessel services, ship management and marine operations, TOTE Services was selected by MARAD in May 2019 to be the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the NSMV program to ensure the utilization of best practices in commercial ship construction. 

Since then, the VCM construct has proven to be an effective model in which the government utilizes commercial best practices and resourcefulness to design and construct vessels that are built by union labor in a U.S. shipyard with U.S.-made steel and U.S.-made engines.     

This new acquisition approach to federal shipbuilding is helping to revitalize the nation’s industrial base and spur economic growth and development in the domestic maritime industry. Equally important, the VCM model has allowed TOTE Services and Philly Shipyard to coordinate closely to meet critical construction milestones for MARAD’s NSMV program throughout the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, economic pressures, and other challenges. 

TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard a contract to construct the first two of up to five NSMVs (NSMV I and NSMV II) in April 2021. The third and fourth NSMVs (NSMV III and NSMV IV) were ordered in January 2021. This historic program will replace aging training vessels at SUNY Maritime College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy and Texas A&M Maritime Academy, and California State University Maritime Academy, respectively. These ships will be owned by MARAD.

The first NSMV is scheduled to be delivered to SUNY Maritime College in 2023 with delivery of the fifth NSMV to Cal Maritime in 2026. 

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TOTE’s Commitment to Safety and Service During Coronavirus Threat

As the Federal government tracks COVID-19, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, and the impacts it may have on the global supply chain, TOTE is closely monitoring the situation with a focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, our customers and our partners above all else. 

All TOTE operations are running normally and remain unaffected by COVID-19.  

We are dedicated to business continuity and providing safe and reliable transportation services to the markets we serve. TOTE is taking proper health and safety precautions throughout the organization to protect one another, our crews, our vessels and operations, and the cargo we ship. 

In order to ensure we are prepared to respond, TOTE is closely tracking updates provided by federal authorities, including, but not limited to the World Health Organization (WHO)Centers for Disease Control (CDC)International Chamber of Shipping, and U.S. Coast Guard


What is the current impact to TOTE and our operations?

  • There have been no impacts to TOTE operations to date. We continue to monitor the situation with a focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, our customers and our partners above all else.
  • All TOTE operations are running normally, and we do not expect any changes to sailing schedules at this time. 
  • We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation for any additional requirements or changes in the markets we serve, should they arise. 

What is TOTE doing for contingency planning around this virus?

  • Internal collaboration teams have been instated to ensure all levels of operations are prepared to respond should the situation escalate. 
  • Our entire team is taking proper health and safety precautions to protect our crews, our vessels, our operations and the cargo we ship. 
  • As in any other situation, TOTE maintains continuity plans to help ensure we are prepared if new issues emerge. 

How will TOTE communicate on this topic?

  • TOTE will continue to communicate updates as more information is made available. This may include updates to our website, direct customer notifications or personal outreach from our dedicated sales team.
  • If you have questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact your Account Executive or Customer Service.  Our dedicated representatives are available to you at any time.

TOTE Services’ Vessels receive Environmental Achievement Award

On November 7, 2018, TOTE Services was presented with individual Environmental Achievement Awards for 16 vessels who have operated for at least the past 2 years in environmental excellence and without incurring an oil spill to sea.  Certificates awarded noted that “This outstanding achievement exemplifies devotion to the principles of environmental protection established by the international community, U.S. Federal agencies and local authorities”.

The awards were presented at the Annual Environmental Achievement Awards Dinner held in Washington, DC and given by the Chamber of Shipping of America.

Vessel Name  (Years without an Environmental incident)

  • NORTH STAR   (5)
  • ALTAIR  (19)
  • ANTARES  (6)
  • BELLATRIX   (12)
  • DENEBOLA  (6)
  • PETERSBURG   (24)
  • REGULUS  (6)
  • ENDURANCE  (2)
  • FREEDOM  (2)
  • HONOR  (5)
  • PATRIOT  (2)

TOTE Services Awarded SBX Contract

Yesterday it was announced that TOTE Services has been awarded a contract by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command for the operation and maintenance of the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX-1) vessel. This contract includes on 12 month base period four 12 month option periods and a six month option period which would bring the total value of the contract to $65,303,887. Work done by TOTE Services will be performed at sea worldwide is expected ot be completed in September 2019. If all options are exercised, work will continue through March 2024. 


Wheeler Crew hosts community event for Saipan youth

In May, crew members aboard the Wheeler hosted a community event for a Saipan school group of about 20 students ages 9-12. The event was focused on survival skills and coincided with an overnight “survival” camping excursion on Managaha Island. Skills taught by the crew included making a fire without matches, gathering fresh water for drinking, and signaling for help.

Chief Yarbrough, Captain Glenn Macario and 3rd A/E Jeff Polek rode over to Managaha with survival gear in tow to conduct the event.  The group of students learned how to start a fire with a magnifying glass, how to use distress flares and how to make a solar still to condense water with a plastic bag and a cup. The kids asked many questions and their teachers were very appreciative of the time the crew spent doing the instructing. 


TOTE President and CEO, Anthony Chiarello, to Retire

TOTE President and CEO, Anthony Chiarello, to Retire

Chiarello will depart TOTE after 8 years at the helm and 39 years in the industry

Princeton, NJ – Anthony Chiarello, President and CEO of TOTE Inc., has announced he will retire this summer.  Chiarello has nearly 39 years of exemplary service in the maritime industry in a number of leadership roles.

“As I look ahead to my 63rd birthday later this year, it is time for me to spend more time with my family and loved ones.  I am blessed with a large family and many beautiful grandchildren, and I look forward to adjusting the priorities in my life” noted Chiarello.

The TOTE leadership team has a proven track record of success and will carry on the with the strong core values of safety, commitment and integrity that Chiarello instilled over the past eight years at the helm.  The company’s parent, Saltchuk, will make an announcement regarding Chiarello’s successor in due course.

“We thank Anthony for his many years at the helm of TOTE,” said Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk, TOTE’s parent company.  “Anthony has had a distinguished maritime career and under his capable leadership, TOTE Maritime has grown to be one of the best shipping companies in the industry.  Anthony leaves a team of highly talented leaders who are well equipped to contribute to TOTE’s continued success.  We wish Anthony much happiness in his retirement.”

Chiarello started his career in stevedoring at ITO, now part of Ports America, in the Port of New York and soon relocated to Baltimore where he later served as Deputy Administrator of the Maryland Port Administration.  He then spent 16 years with the Maersk organization in varying roles including President of Maersk Logistics USA.  Prior to joining TOTE, Chiarello was COO and EVP of NYK Logistics (Americas). He has always been very involved in education having served on the Board of Visitors of the Business School at Northeastern University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Center for Global Leadership at his alma mater Villanova University.  Chiarello is the recipient of many awards including the prestigious AOTOS award as well as being named a White House Champion of Change during the Obama Presidency for his work bringing LNG to the maritime industry.



TOTE Services Wins MARAD Ship Management Contracts

MARAD has awarded TOTE Services National Defense Reserve Fleet Vessels’ contracts in the amount of $461,164,825.79. Over the past decade TOTE Services has taken great pride in providing vessel management services to MARAD on behalf of their support to DOD’s strategic sealift mission. “TOTE Services is humbled by the contract award and the confidence of MARAD in our company to crew and maintain vessels that support our national security requirements,” stated Phil Greene, President/TOTE Services.

MARAD 02-16

Friday, January 22, 2016

Contact:  Kim Strong

Tel.:  (202) 366-5067


Maritime Administration Awards Contracts for $1.96 Billion to Crew and Maintain National Defense Reserve Fleet Vessels


WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that DOT has awarded contracts with a total award value of $1.96 billion over eight years to seven U.S. maritime firms to manage, maintain and operate 48 National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) vessels through January 2024.  These Maritime Administration contracts are funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Sealift Fund to support DoD’s strategic sealift mission.


“Since 1946, National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels have facilitated U.S. strategic sealift, natural disaster response, and humanitarian operations all around the world,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “From supporting our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and providing humanitarian support for Haiti, to supporting the United Nation’s at-sea neutralization of Syria’s chemical weapons – this fleet reliably, economically, and efficiently advances U.S. contributions to global peace and prosperity.”


The eighteen contracts awarded to seven U.S. maritime firms total $953.5 million for the 4-year base contract which runs through January 2020.  The contracts also include two, 2-year options bringing the total award value to $1.96 billion. The contracts were awarded to companies that offered the best value to the government.  These seven companies are responsible for maintaining the ships in good mechanical condition and ensuring that crews are available to operate them when needed. 


Forty-six of the vessels are part of the Department of Transportation’s Ready Reserve Force, a fleet managed by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) that provides rapid mass movement of Department of Defense equipment and supplies to support our Armed Forces, and also responds to national and humanitarian emergencies.  Additionally, two vessels are used to support Missile Defense Agency operations.  Each certified, mission-ready vessel is maintained so that it can be fully activated and deployed quickly. The 46 Ready Reserve Force vessels have been activated hundreds of times since 2002.  


“The U.S. Merchant Marine and National Defense Reserve Fleet play a crucial role in our nation’s security,” said Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen.  “These contract awards will allow our commercial maritime companies to continue providing top-notch support to our troops who are stationed or deployed around the world.”


MARAD, which maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet, promotes the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced, United States merchant marine fleet, sufficient to carry the Nation’s domestic waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign commerce, and capable of service as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency.  For more information on these ships, visit


A list of awardees is provided below.  Detailed information about the contracts can be found at and at MARAD’s Virtual Office of Acquisitions.   


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Crowley Technical Management, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

4 vessels: (2 CAPE Ws, 2 TAVBs)

$ 149,755,923.82


Keystone Shipping Services, Bala Cynwyd, PA

11 vessels: (6 CAPE D/Es, 3 CAPE Rs, 2 CAPE Ks)

$ 411,596,846.85


Matson Navigation Company, Inc., Oakland, CA

3 vessels: (CAPE Hs)

$ 174,612,435.39


Ocean Duchess, Inc., Houston, TX

8 vessels: (4 CAPE Is, 2 FSS-West Coast, 2 CAPE Ms)

$ 342,263,690.65


Pacific-Gulf Marine, Corp., Gretna, LA

6 vessels: (6 TACS)

$ 194,254,798.52


Patriot Contract Services, LLC, Concord, CA

7 vessels: (3 CAPE Ts, 2 CAPE Vs, 2 ro/ro -CALLAGHAN/ORLANDO)

$ 227,068,183.07


Tote Services, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

9 vessels (6 FSS -East/Gulf coast, 1 OPDS, 2 MDA)

$ 461,164,825.79


* Award amounts include firm-fixed fees for the 4-year base contract and two 2-year options, without future economic price adjustment, plus estimated reimbursable costs for eight years.

Tote Services Inc. receives $7 million extension to military contract

Tote Services Inc. receives $7 million extension to military contract 

Tote Services Inc., a Jacksonville-based company, was awarded a $7,136,462 modification to a contract with the U.S. Navy.

The company will be exercising a one-year option period for the operation and maintenance of the Offshore Petroleum Discharge System. The system consists of a U.S. flagged self-sustaining vessel, the USNS Vice Admiral K.R. Wheeler and a tender vessel, the USNS Fast Tempo.

The two ships being maintained support deployed military ships worldwide.

The contract runs for the next year.


*This article was featured in the Jacksonville Business Journal on Sept. 23, 2014


TOTE, Saltchuk Secure Financing for Marlin Class Vessels

TOTE CEO Anthony Chiarello with MARAD Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen and others from MARAD

Maritime Administration to Provide Title XI Loan Guarantee for World’s First LNG Containerships

Washington DC – September 22, 2014  Today, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD)  announced a $324.6 million loan guarantee for TOTE Shipholdings and Saltchuk Resources for their Marlin Class vessels.  The two new Marlin Class vessels, which will be the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containerships, will serve the Puerto Rico trade and will be complete in 2015 and 2016.

This financing is made available under the Title XI Loan Guarantee Program. TOTE and Saltchuk qualified for this loan as the new ship build is an advancement in shipbuilding technology and being constructed at a U.S. shipyard. The new containerships are being built at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California.

The Marlin Class vessels set new standards for environmental responsibility, reducing a number of air emissions including particulate matter, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

“This financing from the U.S. Department of Transportation and MARAD enables TOTE to invest in modern technology that will create jobs, reduce our impact on the environment, and ensure a safer and healthier workplace for our employees” stated Anthony Chiarello, President and CEO of TOTE.

More than 600 skilled workers will be employed by General Dynamics NASSCO for the construction of the two Marlin Class vessels. Both vessels are currently being built and the first ship is more than 50 percent complete.

“The shipbuilding industry contributes more than $36 billion to our national economy, creates jobs, and strengthens local economies” noted MARAD Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen.



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Media Contact:

Tyler Edgar