American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI) announced that the Company will build fifty covered hopper barges for use by its Transportation Services Division at the Company's Jeffboat manufacturing subsidiary in the first quarter of 2010.
Commenting on the build plan, ACL President and CEO Mike Ryan stated, "We are executing the next phase of our long-term strategic plan. We recently completed the realignment of our field-based Transportation Services management team, establishing new northern and southern region headquarters locations. Now, we are beginning our dry barge replacement program in order to reduce the age of our fleet. This is an ideal time to build barges as we have the best steel prices that we have had in several years. We will continue to scrap our oldest barges and replace them with new high quality Jeffboat barges to improve the quality of our service for our growing customer base. The addition of the new hopper barges will increase the reliability of our service. It will also support our initiative to gain greater efficiency and productivity from our fleet while improving overall long-term profitability."