When Patriot Offshore Maritime Services won a charter with Vineyard Wind to provide a newbuilding to serve the first full-scale wind farm in US waters, the shipowning newcomer did not do it alone.

Patriot had vied for the contract to provide a Jones Act-qualified crew transfer vessel as part of a coalition forged by a familiar US-flagged shipping name.

Sprouting from the group of Liberty companies led by Long Island shipowner Philip Shapiro, Liberty Green Logistics was formed in May 2021 and has since built a consortium of 17 companies offering what it describes as “factory-to-farm” solutions to the US offshore wind sector.

Chief operating officer Josh Shapiro told TradeWinds that the coalition approach is rooted in the unique experience of Liberty Global Logistics (LGL), a US-flagged ro-ro operator and multimodal logistics firm, in building strategic partnerships across supply chains.

“By doing a consortium, and being able to spread our wings and create opportunities with different partners in our consortium, it allows us to co-invest along the entire supply chain, forming that unique thing that Liberty does, which is to form that logistics network,” he said.

Based in Lake Success, New York, the leadership team includes executive director Bob Wellner, the former president of LGL.

Shapiro, who is Philip’s son, is chief operating officer of ship manager Liberty Maritime and executive vice president at LGL.

Shortly after getting started, Shapiro and Wellner tapped Timothy Axelsson to bring offshore marine and wind farm expertise to Liberty Green.

Before taking on the role of director of offshore wind at the outfit, Axelsson had worked as an officer on offshore vessels and drillships and then shoreside in the renewables sector for Vestas Wind Systems, Ocean Tech Services and Fishermen’s Energy, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The coalition that Liberty Green has built includes a mix of established names in global renewables and shipping sectors, and new companies emerging in the nascent US wind vessel business.

An artist’s rendering shows a Patriot Offshore Maritime Services crew transfer vessel to be constructed at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding. The vessel will serve the Vineyard Wind project. Patriot Offshore is a member of the Liberty Green consortium. Photo: Vineyard Wind

In addition to the Liberty group companies, it includes Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK Lines, crew transfer vessel (CTV) owner Patriot Offshore Maritime Services, and port players NYS Offshore Windport and Waterson Terminal Services.

There are also advisory members, including classification society ABS and two key US seafarers unions.

When it comes to providing the vessels that the offshore wind sector will need to build and then operate wind farms off the US coast, Liberty Green is not aiming to be an owner or operator in its own right.

But Shapiro said it aims to participate in bidding by working with and co-investing with partners.

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Rather than just focus on a single link in the offshore wind supply chain, he said Liberty Green wants its brand to be a name that developers and equipment manufacturers can turn to for transportation logistics across the board, backed by its status as a US citizen in a market protected by the Jones Act.

“We want to co-develop and co-invest with partners in everything from waterfront facilities for manufacturing and O&M [operations and maintenance] to Jones Act assets,” he said.