Illinois News

19 Mar 2020

Barge Lines Boost Crew Safety as Virus Threatens Crucial Cargo

© Ronald / Adobe Stock

The world has radically changed since towboat captain Terry Hall boarded his vessel late last month in Wood River, Illinois, for his four-week shift hauling bargeloads of crude oil, chemicals, scrap metal and other goods up and down the Mississippi River.His employer, Canal Barge Co, has beefed up pre-board health screenings for all crew to include a temperature check and disclosures about recent travel and personal interactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Any disruption…

17 Mar 2020

COVID-19 and Supply Chain Implications for Ocean Shipping

© hanohiki / Adobe Stock

Only 10 days ago, reports indicated that China cargoes were returning to pre-coronavirus levels, and there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel. Today, however, a barrage of new headlines has underscored the impact on the rapidly changing global supply chain, including in the United States. In addition to the aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), new economic developments indicate a decreased trend in global manufacturing. Changes in local economies negatively impacting employees reflect corresponding changes in consumer buying patterns.

12 Feb 2020

Barges Break Free on the Mississippi

The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges. (Photo: USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a multi-barge breakaway in the vicinity of mile markers 176 and 177 on the Upper Mississippi River, Wednesday.Watchstanders at Sector Upper Mississippi River received the report at 3 a.m. that there was a multi-barge breakaway from a fleeting area on the Upper Mississippi River.Multiple towing vessels in the area worked together to account for and secure all the loose barges.The Coast Guard initially closed the river for the safety of those on the waterway…

12 Feb 2020

Dredging at the Forefront of Corps' 2020 Work Plan

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FY2020 Work Plan release on Monday places dredging at the forefront.“We welcome the FY 2020 Work Plan released by the Army Corps,” said William P. Doyle, CEO of the Dredging Contractors of America. “We’re ready – our dredging companies are hard at work on projects and continue to build new dredging ships for America’s ports, waterways and beaches.”The Work Plan is based on the FY2020 Energy and Water Development appropriations bills signed into law by President Trump in December 2019.In December 2019…

11 Feb 2020

WCI Applauds Corps’ FY20 Work Plan

(Photo: Lee Roberts / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) offered praise for Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ for the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) work plan that lays out allocations for funds provided in the FY20 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill toward the Corps’ civil works mission. The work plan was released late yesterday.Critical to the nation’s agricultural shippers and American family farmers, the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) (Upper Mississippi River – Illinois Waterway System: IL…

11 Feb 2020

Trump's FY21 Budget Request 'Inadequate' -WCI

© Warren Price / Adobe Stock

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget request released on Monday is "astonishingly inadequate" says industry advocate Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).The FY21 budget provides $0 for construction of ongoing priority navigation projects cost-shared through the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF); cuts funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Mission by 22% ($5.967 billion, a $1.7 billion decrease from the FY20 enacted level); and proposes $1.8 million in new user fees on commercial waterways operators.Last fiscal year (FY20)…

23 Jan 2020

Nestlehutt tapped to lead SCI

Photo: Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI)

The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) selected Rev. Mark S. Nestlehutt as its new President & Executive Director, succeeding the Rev. David Rider, effective February 18, 2020.With more than two decades of church experience in Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Australia and South Africa, Mark joins SCI from Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he serves as Rector. His previous employment and interests include service as an officer in the U.S.

15 Jan 2020

The Mighty Mississippi: Taming the Bull

© Tiago Lopes Fernandez / Adobe Stock

The beneficial use of dredge material sets a record in FY 2019. And, we’re just getting started. Funding will be the key.In mid-November 2018, concerns began to rise about an unseasonably high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River Basin generated by significant precipitation events. As a navigation representative on the Lower Mississippi River, I have unfortunately learned that the river system is changing and that precipitation around the world has been increasing for decades.

24 Dec 2019

St. Louis Regional Freightway: The Year in Review

Photo: St. Louis Regional Freightway

The St. Louis Regional Freightway has compiled a summary of the major developments over the past year that either elevated the St. Louis region’s global status as a world-class freight hub or will help to advance the region’s position as the country’s freight nexus in the year ahead.“From mega projects breaking ground and global companies choosing to invest here, to newly formed partnerships that strengthen the bi-state region’s role in national and global supply chains, there was much to be excited about in 2019…

30 Oct 2019

MasterCraft Boat Appoints Frederick Brightbill as CEO

Image: MasterCraft Boat Holdings

MasterCraft Boat Holdings announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current Board Chair, Frederick A. Brightbill, as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.Brightbill’s appointment follows Terry McNew’s decision to step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company to pursue an opportunity outside of the boating industry. Brightbill is expected to serve until the Company completes a search and appoints a new Chief Executive Officer.“On behalf of the Board and the entire organization…

15 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Farm Facts

AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

USDA Study Underscores Value of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture.On August 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James toured Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, and held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the importance of the waterways,  agriculture and the U.S. economy. At the event, Secretary Perdue briefed agricultural and waterways stakeholders on a newly released study – Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture – from the U.S.

14 Oct 2019

Wrangling Big Data Into Actionable Intel

Photo by Randy Montoya

Social media, cameras, sensors and more generate huge amounts of data that can overwhelm analysts sifting through it all for meaningful, actionable information to provide decision-makers such as political leaders and field commanders responding to security threats.Sandia National Laboratories researchers are working to lessen that burden by developing the science to gather insights from data in nearly real time.“The amount of data produced by sensors and social media is booming — every day there’s about 2.5 quintillion (or 2.5 billion billion) bytes of data generated…

09 Oct 2019

Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround

Starved Rock Lock, ACE Rock Island District (Credit: USACE)

A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime, freight and agricultural businesses to look ahead now, to prepare a logistics scenario that will be ready by July 1, 2020.

17 Sep 2019

ARC to Christen 3 Vessels on Friday

Image: American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier

American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) will christen the ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and the ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile and militarily-useful ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, on Friday in the Port of Baltimore.ARC’s three, new vessels will be enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA).Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby will deliver the keynote address at the ship naming ceremony.

30 Aug 2019

U.S. Agriculture Needs Waterways Upgrades

Image: USDA

U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) have commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study…

29 Aug 2019

USDA Releases Powerful Inland Waterways Study

File Image: WCI

WCI/NGFA Urge NESP Infrastructure Project to Move Forward.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S.

28 Aug 2019

Creative Approach Keeps Commerce Flowing Amidst Historic Flooding

Aerial view of the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam on the Kaskaskia River. CREDIT: St. Louis Freightway

Operational changes keep Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open for 17 days longer than typical during high water events.While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest for extended periods this spring and summer, a little out-of-the-box thinking helped limit the number of days the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water.The Kaskaskia River is a critical transportation link for several commodities…

19 Jul 2019

Coast Guard Responds to Tugboat Casualties

The salvage operation on the Illinois River is now complete. Image: USCG

The Coast Guard has transitioned from pollution response to the investigation phase of a major marine casualty that occurred July 5, 2019, involving three vessels that sank in the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois.Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 20.7 on the Illinois River. Sector UMR responded to the scene to find all three vessels fully submerged.The vessels were identified as Chatty Sue Smith…

17 Jul 2019

St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures

File Image: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in  More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…

08 Jul 2019

USCG Responds to Three Tugboats Sinking

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexandria Preston

The Coast Guard is responding to three vessels that sunk on the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report Friday of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 21 on the Illinois River.The sinking tugboats are holding approximately 4,850 gallons of diesel and oil.Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched personnel to work with the tugboat company…

03 Jul 2019

Maritime Simulation & Training: a partnership that pays off

Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate closely to ensure that all FMT wheelhouse personnel are ready for every eventuality ahead.

It is truly no accident that Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate so closely.Zero incidents, zero injuries and eliminating critical barge and equipment failures doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It’s a result of continual safety training that breeds operational awareness and confidence to anticipate a difficult situation on an inland waterway before it actually occurs.With a high school education, Capt. Shelden Detrafford started out making $25/day in the 1960s.

16 May 2019

INSIGHTS: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer was appointed Executive Director at America’s Central Port on July 1, 2010, prior to which he served 11 years with the Port District, six as General Manager.With over 30 years of experience, Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table in the areas of transportation, planning, and economic development. His responsibilities include developing the Port’s 1,200-acre industrial park and business campus, redeveloping a former military logistics center…

02 May 2019

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

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