Avondale To Use Japanese Method Of Building —Gets Trade Zone Status

Avondale Industries of Louisiana, in a bid to increase its shipbuilding business, has decided to try utilizing the Japanese method of offering a choice of standard configurations to keep costs down compared with its usual custom-design approach for commercial vessels.

The firm at the same time has obtained foreign trade zone (FTZ) designation for four of its New Orleans- area yards to enhance its export products in the eyes of potential overseas customers. Bruce Hicks, Avondale controller/treasurer, said Avondale wants to try the Japanese marketing method of having a book with several standard configurations, each with a set price, which is much less expensive that designing ships for customers from the ground up, a method that is unattractive to customers these days.

The standard-configuration approach for products carriers and tankers in the 40,000-dwt class, with particular emphasis on U.S. Jones Act vessels destined for the coastwise trade, are what Avondale is most keen to utilize, Mr. Hicks said.

Other stories from April 1991 issue


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