US Barging Industry Navigating Black Swan Events
The combination of the coronavirus pandemic and oil price freefall have affected most maritime markets, including inland waterway shipping. Looking at U.S. river transport in particular, the impacts of these two black swan events vary greatly depending on the type of cargo being carried.David Grzebinski, CEO of the America’s largest tank barge operator, Kirby Corp., said in a March conference call that petrochemical customers have driven the market higher as plants and refineries look to shore up their supply chains amid current market upheavals…
COVID-19 Economic Recovery Should Include Infrastructure Investment
As the nation continues to be impacted by COVID-19, there are silver linings to the crisis: family time and togetherness, gratitude for what we had before it was taken away, and a chance to seek opportunities to be better and more productive.As funding bills related to the COVID-19 crisis move forward, there may be an opportunity for the nation to better itself by modernizing its infrastructure.Congress has, to date as of this writing, passed three phases of a coronavirus relief package.
River Boat Wreck Leaves 13 Dead in Brazil
Thirteen people are confirmed dead and another 28 are thought to be missing after a river boat sank in the northern Brazilian state of Amapa, the state government said on Monday.Another 46 people were rescued after the sinking of the vessel late on Saturday roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the municipality of Laranjal do Jari in the Amazon rainforest, the government said in a statement on its website.Local news website G1 reported the vessel was making a roughly 36-hour journey between the cities of Santana in Amapa state and Santarem in neighboring Para.
Golar Power Wins Brazil Plant Gig
Golar LNG, a liquefied natural gas shipping company registered in Bermuda, said that its joint venture with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, Golar Power Limited has been awarded a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the construction of a 605MW combined cycle thermal power plant.The LNG-to-power Project will be developed by CELBA (Centrais Eletricas Barcarena S/A), a special purpose company 50% controlled by Golar Power.Located in the Brazilian city of Barcarena, State of Pará…
Workboat Report: The U.S. Workboat ($33.8B) Market
The U.S. towing and tug business is 5,500 boats, more than 31,000 barges with an estimated total impact on U.S. GDP of $33.8 billion.“At a macro level, the bigger ships are causing downward pressure on the ship assist business because there are fewer ship calls given the increased capacity of these vessels. However, certain ports have seen tremendous growth, based on strategic location and infrastructure investments that have attracted these larger ships and been a net plus for these areas.”Kate Fuhrman…
Crounse Corporation Chooses MobileOps
MobileOps, Inc. said it has recently signed a term contract with inland river transportation company Crounse Corporation.Crounse provides full service barge transportation as well as harbor and fleeting services. MobileOps software will assist Crounse with vessel and safety management, as well as auditing processes.“The MobileOps team is very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a high caliber company like Crounse Corporation”, said Vice President of business development Greg Armfield.MobileOps is a cloud-based subscription solution that includes Vessel Management…
St. Louis Region’s Agriculture Freight Network Poised for Growth
As cargo handling capacity increases along the Mississippi River, this 15-mile section of the Mighty Mississippi is being called the Ag Coast. Located in the heartland of America, one 15-mile section of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis, Missouri, region delivers the highest level of grain barge handling capacity anywhere along the Mighty Mississippi. In fact, it is now being called the “Agriculture or Ag Coast” of America in terms of barge transfer facilities for agricultural products.
Combi Lift Orders 19 Vessels from Damen
Damen Shipyards Group said it has secured an order with German heavy lift company Combi Lift to build a total of 19 specially customized shallow draught vessels. The vessels will be used to transport oversized and heavy lift cargo for the Gazprom Amur Gas Processing Plant Project in the Russian Far East. The multiple vessel order comprises four Multi Cats 2608SD, four Pusher Tugs 2612SD, seven Stan Pontoons 8916SD and four Side Floaters 8605SD. Combi Lift’s role in the Gazprom Amur Gas Processing Plant Project will be to transport over 176…
Coalition Urges Congress to Address Asian Carp in the Great Lakes
A coalition of maritime business and industry organizations sent a letter to key Members of Congress on Friday, March 24 urging funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to further support efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois to slow, stop and reverse the migration of Asian carp, an aquatic invasive species, through cost-effective measures. In the letter, the UnLock Our Jobs (UOJ) coalition members review the record of success that the GLRI has had in working with the State of Illinois to develop a range of strategies to control Asian carp…
Offshore Innovation: A Real ‘Riverboat’
Central Asia is a booming oil region not far from the Persian Gulf. Energy companies ply the big lake to rack up staggering barrel counts at elephantine oilfields with names like Tengiz (Kazakhstan) or Kashagan (Azerbaijan). Painstaking, oil-fueled nation-building is underway across an oil province, where very shallow water hinders plant and equipment moves by platform supply vessels. Until now — new module-carrying vessels, or MCVs will float high-capital cargoes through Russia’s river system and across the Caspian shallows to Chevron’s Tengiz Extension project.
ETE's 80th Anniversary crowned by International River Operations
The business portfolio internationalization and the development of river operations are two of ETE Group’s strategic focus, as referred last Friday on the 80th birthday ceremonies at Naval Rocha shipyard (in Lisbon) with the presence of the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Minister for the Sea Affairs, Ana Paula Vitorino and the Minister for Environment, Matos Fernandes. According to Luis Nagy, the CEO, “at ETE Group we are starting the ninth decade with a strong focus on the internationalization of our operations…
MN100: Safety Management Systems, LLC
A leading US maritime consultancy established in 1996, SMSLLC provides practical risk mitigation solutions for vessel operators and stakeholders. Clients include a broad range of operators including Genesis Marine, American River Transportation Company, Seabulk Towing, Military Sealift Command and others. Primary services include, Regulatory Advisement, Internal Auditing, Risk Management, and the creation of Management Systems. SMS LLC has been in the business of bringing practical safety management solutions to the marine industry for 20 years.
POSCO Production at Indiana Ports to start in 2017
Officials from POSCO, the Ports of Indiana and community leaders gathered to break ground today on POSCO's new wire rod processing center at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville. POSCO is a multinational company headquartered in Pohang, South Korea, and the fifth-largest steel producer in the world. The new $19 million facility is expected to begin operations in 2017 and create up to 60 high-wage jobs by 2018. POSCO is South Korea's fourth largest company, behind Samsung Electronics, SK Holdings and Hyundai Motors, and is ranked No. 162 in Fortune's Global 500.
Russia to Build 2 Tankers for Azerbaijan
Russia's Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard, a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, is to sign a contract to build two tankers for Azerbaijan’s Caspian Marine Services Ltd. The two companies have signed a contract for building and delivery of two RST27 tankers. The tankers will be delivered to Azerbaijan in 2016-2017, according to the contract. The RST27 vessels of the Volga-Don Max class meet the dimensions of the Volga-Don Ship Canal and Volga-Baltic Waterway. The tankers are designed for mixed sea/river transportation of crude oil and oil products (two types of cargo)…
Vigor Delivers New Towboat to Tidewater
Tidewater Transportation and Terminals today marked delivery of the second of a series of three towboats, the Granite Point. The vessel, built by Portland’s Vigor, follows towboat Crown Point, which began operations along the Columbia Snake River (CSR) in May 2015. Like the Crown Point, the Granite Point is a custom-built, environmentally-friendly towboat that was specifically designed by CT Marine, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of Edgecomb, Maine, to serve Tidewater’s customers.
New Barge Fleeting and Switching Operation in Cairo Harbor
American River Transportation Company (ARTCO), a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), today announced plans to launch new barge fleeting and switching operations in the Cairo, Illinois, harbor starting January 1, 2016. The Cairo harbor is a vital hub in the inland waterway supply chain. The new operation will be based in Wickliffe, Kentucky, and will provide fleeting and switching operations from mile 948 on the Lower Mississippi River to mile 29 on the Upper Mississippi and mile 974 on the Ohio River. “ARTCO is the only company in the inland waterway system that can provide a self-contained supply chain to our customers, which allows us to provide better, more efficient and cost-effective service,” said Jason Porter, vice president, ARTCO operations.
Mississippi River Basin Gets a Grade of D+
The Mississippi River basin has gotten a report card from a group that monitors watershed health and economic impact — and the grade is D+. The organization, America's Watershed Initiative, cited the poor condition of infrastructure such as locks and dams, and a lack of funding that could lead to water security issues. The Mississippi River watershed is the fourth-largest in the world, according to the group. It is made up of five river basins that flow across 31 states. It falls short in its goal of serving as the nation's most valuable water passage…
Russian JV Close Acquisition of Prime Shipping
The Russian Joint Venture between Rosneft, Sberbank Investments and Pietro Barbaro S.p.A. closed the acquisition of the Pietro Barbaro Group shipping assets in the Russian Federation (100% share of Prime Shipping group of companies). Prime Shipping is one of the leaders of the Russian river and sea transportation tanker market. The deal was financed by Sberbank. The acquisition of a logistics asset will allow Rosneft to strengthen its positions in the river transportation market and enhance the efficiency of operations…
Big Response to WKCTC’s Open House
More than 100 city officials, educators, community members, and representatives from the river industry attended West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s open house and ribbon cutting for its Inland Logistics and Marine Institute (ILMI) August 10. Visitors toured the recently renovated 8,000 square-foot facility located at 631 Marine Way between local river businesses and Paducah's downtown. The building includes classrooms, a state-of-the-art radar lab, diesel lab, video lab and five offices.
The ‘Greening’ of America’s Marine Highways
Ingram Barge Company sees two kinds of green in their newest venture on the inland rivers. In late March, the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority and Ingram Barge Company announced plans to assess the viability of Intermodal River Transportation, utilizing the largest flat-top crane in North America and Ingram’s towboats and barges. On March 27th, that plan came to life as the Paducah Riverport Authority’s 200-ton crane lifted 54 empty containers and stacked them neatly on an Ingram-owned barge. An Ingram towboat then transported the container laden barge to the port of St.
Update: Runaway Barges Recovered
Two barges that drifted against piers of the Starved Rock Dam in Utica, Illinois Sunday afternoon have been safely recovered, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported. One of the barges, carrying corn, was recovered Sunday evening, while the second barge, carrying sand, was recovered Monday morning. The Joyce Hale, a 157-foot towing vessel, was pushing eight barges of dry cargo south on the Illinois River Sunday when two of the eight barges it was pushing made contact with the protection cells of the Starved Rock Lock and Dam.
Barges Break Free, Hit Starved Rock Dam
The U.S. Coast Guard is working the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the owners of a tug and barges to quickly and safely move two barges that drifted into the protection walls of Starved Rock Lock and Dam in Utica, Illinois, Sunday afternoon. The Joyce Hale, a 157-foot towing vessel, was pushing eight barges of dry cargo south on the Illinois River when two of the eight barges it was pushing made contact with the protection walls of the Starved Rock Lock and Dam. As a result of the allision, four of the barges broke away from the vessel's tow wires.
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, who will be a senior in high school next Fall. The decision to drive was, in part, an economy move but also made sense due to the relatively last minute nature of our plans. As it turned out, the trip to Florida and back from Charlotte, North Carolina, was without a doubt, the worst part of an otherwise pleasant week.