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 November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Shipbuilding

Jackup Rig Delivered to Abu Dhabi’s NDC

Lamprell delivers its 11th Super 116E jackup drilling unit Lamprell has completed the construction of jackup drilling rig, the Shuwehat, and has delivered the

NASSCO Opens Bremerton Repair Facility

General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bremerton, Wash., yesterday. The facility will support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.

Damen Responds to Evolving Fishing Practices

Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam meets fishing sector’s growing needs by performing electric pulse fishing conversions   As European fishing policies evolve, so fishing techniques advance.

Barges

Becker Marine Delivers Rudder for Largest Containership

Becker Marine Systems delivers rudder for the largest container ship in the world   At 19,000 TEU, the largest container ship in the world is now picking up speed

Port of Amsterdam to Reward Green Barges

The cleaner the vessels, the larger the discount on Inland Harbour Dues. Port of Amsterdam will be joining the Green Award program for inland barges on January 1,

WCI Applauds Barge Diesel Fuel User Fee Increase

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and its members and stakeholders applauded the Senate’s passage, by a vote of 76 to16, of a 9-cent increase to the barge diesel fuel user fee.

Vessels

Even 'Small' Vessels are Getting Bigger

The Shipowners’ Club is a mutual provider of P&I insurance that has throughout its 160 year history been dedicated to serving owners of small and specialist ships.

NASSCO Opens Bremerton Repair Facility

General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bremerton, Wash., yesterday. The facility will support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.

MacGregor RoRo Cargo Access Package For Ferry

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received a contract from German shipbuilder Flensburger-Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) for a comprehensive RoRo cargo access equipment package.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2042 sec (5 req/sec)