Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018



IN the great development of maritime business in the port and harbor of New York there has come a constant demand for increased and improved facilities for the moving and handling of cargoes in the waters of the harbor and tributary streams.

No great city in the world has a harbor that presents in its landlocked expanse greater oppor-tunities for commerce and industry. With the Upper and Lower Bays, Newark Bay and the several straits, rivers, canals and inlets tributary to these bays, New York furnishes work sufficient for the largest harbor fleets of the world. Coal, materials, merchandise move about the harbor of New York at the present day in vessels that in their build and equipment furnish as marked a contrast to those that were thought good enough for requirements a few decades ago, as the modern turbine-propelled steamer does to the old side- wheeler that represented the last word in rapid ocean transit in the 'fifties. More harbor tonnage moves in a day at this present time than was used in a month, half a century ago.

But though the development of the harbor fleet has been rapid it has scarcely kept pace in capacity with the demands of harbor commerce. The war had much to do with the scarcity of harbor tonnage. Supplies had to contend with a car shortage and many delays so that in 1916 and 1917 for long periods it seemed as if it would be necessary to give up the problem of trying to catch up with the demand for water transfer service. But in harbor work as well as other lines Americans do not like to give up their problems, and by strenuous experiments and tests it was finally found possible to greatly improve harbor transport conditions.

The lighterage business has therefore been largely increased, and during the past few years its development has been so great as to constantly demand increased equipment. In this line are en-gaged a number of successful firms that have gained for themselves a place of substantial prominence in the maritime world.

One of these firms, well known as leaders in the lighterage business, is that of C. F. Harms & Company, of 17 State Street, New York. The firm has been in active business for several years and has always maintained a high order of efficiency in service covering every kind of lighterage work. The firm has its business thoroughly organized, so that it is prepared to take contracts and execute orders for all kinds of lighterage in New York Harbor and tributary waters, and lias a record for promptness and efficiency which has won it a leading place among the firms devoted to the lighterage industry.

Besides doing a large and active business in lighterage the firm has established an extensive enterprise in supplying to other firms or companies various kinds of vessels used in harbor work of various sorts, and are prepared to meet the needs of contractors or others for scows, dumps, and covered and derrick barges, of which a large supply is kept on hand for sale or charter. This branch of the firm's activities has met with marked success during the past few years, during which the quantity of lighterage work necessary for the movement of commodities, and for transportation between the various landings of the bays, harbors, rivers and canals of the New York area has steadily increased.

The lighters, scows, dumps and barges used and handled by the firm are the products of the leading builders of that kind of craft, and both in the quality of its boats and its service the firm of C. F. Harms & Company stands with the foremost representatives of its line, enjoying the patronage of leading shippers of the port of New York, and having greatly increased the volume of its business with each succeeding year.

The success of the business is in the largest measure due to the efficiency and enterprise of Mr. James MacKenzie, now its executive head, who has had a long connection with the business, and has an experience in and knowledge of harbor problems such as is possessed by few men. By his earnest and tactful methods he has been able to secure and retain an ample force of experienced workers, and to maintain a reliable service that has led many to turn over their harbor work to the reliable hands of this most capable and responsible firm.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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