Editor's Note

Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Even if, as Marcon International’s Bob Beagle says, barges are the workhorses of the towing industry, then the pushboats that propel the 38,000 (documented and undocumented) deck, hopper, tank, crane and miscellaneous purpose barges to their destinations are the heart and soul of the most efficient – and greenest – means to move cargo known to man. This month, we take a close look at what’s developing for both types of hulls; in terms of design, markets, boatbuilding and everything else in between. There’s something happening on all fronts.
The second quarter of 2014 finds North American shipyards and the service and manufacturing sectors that support them still roaring along. But, it’s not just production – it’s also about innovation. For example, Robert Allen’s design for an inland pushboat based largely on local requirements sheds new light onto how front end design work ultimately impacts the maximum utility of any hull. That it involves inland rivers and a shortsea formula makes it all the more compelling. The story begins on page 26.
Slightly off course for this edition, but no less important, the Robert Allen designs also foretell the efforts underway in South America to ramp up inland efficiencies in advance of a post-Panamax world. That’s just a tiny window into efforts going on south of the equator to make it more economical to bring grain and other raw materials to market via various inland rivers. This should serve – although I fear it will not – as a wake-up call for federal and state officials, North American grain interests and anyone else who makes their living on the Mississippi and other important inland rivers. He who gets his product to market quicker wins. And, the race is on.
I’m not saying that there aren’t good things happening right here at home. For one thing, AEP River Operations is perhaps betting that I’m wrong on the domestic inland situation as they barge right into the liquid transport markets in a big way. AEP has just taken delivery of the first of 20 high-end tank barges – all scheduled for production at Jeffboat in 2014 – that will propel them from already being one of the real river giants in terms of bulk transportation, but also a force to be reckoned with downstream in the tank barge markets. Already, there is pressure on this sector with shippers – current and future – competing for a finite supply of units. AEP might just be stepping in at just exactly the right time.
Looking just over the horizon, this month’s OP/ED entry from the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) is pointed reminder that the offshore industry, chafing as it already is under the weight of any number of new regulatory burdens, also isn’t sitting on its collective hands waiting for someone else to improve their performance. By itself, it constitutes a terrific warm up for our Offshore Annual in May. That said; oil & gas stakeholders will soon see that it means so much more.
 


(As published in the April 2014 edition of Marine News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Shipbuilding

Bahri Orders VLCC Newbuilds

Bahri ordered five newbuild very large crude carriers from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries   The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) today signed

Construction Starts on Crowley’s 2nd LNG ConRo Ship

Construction begins on Crowley’s second Commitment Class, LNG-powered ConRo ship for use in the Puerto Rico trade   Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. has officially

Scandlines Orders Ferry Battery System

Corvus Energy announces the signing of marine Energy Storage System (ESS) contract with Scandlines Denmark ApS; world’s largest battery hybrid electric fleet orders additional 2.

Barges

Natural Gas Articulated Conduit System Patented

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) announced that long-time partner Moran Towing Corporation has been granted US Patent 8,967,174 for "Articulated conduit systems

Apply Now for the MN 100

The August 2015 edition of Marine News, the leading voice in the North American workboat market, will feature 100 leaders and innovators, including workboat owners and operators,

Snarled in Traffic, Intermodal Answers Include the Water

It was just last month that the (challenged) Keefe family packed up the SUV and set out for a little bit of spring break fun, mixed in with a college visit for my son,

Vessels

Bahri Orders VLCC Newbuilds

Bahri ordered five newbuild very large crude carriers from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries   The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) today signed

Construction Starts on Crowley’s 2nd LNG ConRo Ship

Construction begins on Crowley’s second Commitment Class, LNG-powered ConRo ship for use in the Puerto Rico trade   Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. has officially

Star Clippers to Build Massive Square Rigger

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers has announced that it has started building a fourth ship to add to its fleet of graceful square-riggers; its first new-build

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2214 sec (5 req/sec)