Thursday, August 7, 2014

TWIC One Visit Program Implemented

Last week, an important program that reforms to the process by which mariners receive their Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) began implementation. The One Visit Program reforms the unnecessarily burdensome process by eliminating the requirement that workers make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to first pick up their credential and then to activate the TWIC. The change streamlines the process while maintaining the high standards of security. With the new program, our mariners will now be able to apply at the TWIC enrollment center and opt to receive the credential by mail. This change will save our people valuable time and remove the burden of making double trips to the centers that are sometimes miles from their home.

Strong bipartisan leadership ensured the passage of the TWIC One Visit legislation. Check out the official press release from the American Waterways Operators regarding this important reform for our industry here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2013 Jones F. Devlin Awards for Maritime Safety

On May 29, 2014, the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) honored the U.S. Maritime Industry for safe marine operations at the Annual Safety Awards Luncheon held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans. Jones F. Devlin Awards are given to vessels that have operated for at least two years without a lost-time injury.

At Canal Barge Company, we know that confidence starts with good people and we are proud to announce a total of 17 CBC towboats and 3 Illinois Marine Towing (IMT) towboats earned 2013 Jones F. Devlin honors. Six CBC vessels have operated 10 consecutive years or more without a lost-time injury! Canal Barge continues to be proud of our exceptional crews for demonstrating our strong commitment to safety and environmental stewardship.

MV NED MERRICK – 15 years
MV CHOCTAW – 12 years
MV LIBERTY – 12 years
MV SPIRIT – 12 years
MV MARY LUCY LANE – 10 years
MV HAMILTON – 7 years
MV ELLY LANE – 7 years
MV JOSEPH M. JONES – 7 years
MV BULL CALF – 6 years
MV INNOVATOR – 5 years
MV COUSHATTA – 3 years
MV INTEGRITY – 2 years
MV SUSAN L. STALL – 2 years
MV CHANNAHON – 4 years (IMT vessel)
MV MARY C – 3 years (IMT vessel)
MV LEMONT TRADER – 2 years (IMT vessel)

As always, our goal is the elimination of all incidents and injuries.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CBC Continues Operations Through Icy Conditions

This winter has brought some of the coldest weather in recent history to much of the United States. Similar to high-water risk in the springtime, winter weather brings risks to operations and can negatively impact execution within planned time and cost estimates. Though intense cold weather and ice present challenges, you can trust Canal Barge to execute a safe and secure transportation plan. We know that year-round customer needs can result in managing logistics in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Whether loading or discharging cargo, or transiting through harsh winter conditions, CBC reviews operating plans and takes every precaution to ensure the integrity of our customer’s cargo and the safety of the crews involved.

From late 2013 to March 2014, the Illinois Waterway endured iced-over conditions for over 90 days. This was the worst operating year on the Illinois River since the winter of 1977 when Chicago endured 43 straight days of sub-freezing weather. Continuing operations on the Illinois River and Ohio River during this severe winter meant adding horsepower to assist the tows as well as significantly reducing the tow size. Despite these measures, the conditions still caused significantly slower transit times while maintaining safe passage for our crews and our customers’ cargo. In fact, while operating for 3 months in continuous harsh conditions, our skilled mariners experienced zero injuries.

In order to keep our transportation system running and to meet our customers’ demands for cargo movement, we placed four additional boats with high-end horsepower on the Illinois River to assist in breaking up the ice and leading convoys of CBC tows through the ice, as well as assisting other industry tows. Some of our towboats endured minor-to-significant underwater damage, thus compounding the costs of this severe winter season. Though our tow size was reduced and the transit slowed, we never stopped our transportation system. Canal Barge Company continuously monitors operating conditions to ensure our logistics professionals, paired with our experienced mariners and diverse fleet, can move cargoes safely and efficiently from point A to point B, rain, snow, ice, fog or shine.

At Canal Barge Company, our goal is to partner with companies, both large and small, to help them efficiently reach their destinations. We believe our customer is with us every step of the way and we work to ensure valuable cargo is delivered on-time and on-spec. No matter the cargo, the origin or destination, our logistics professionals and highly skilled vessel personnel execute an efficient and effective shipping plan.

CBC's M/V Killian Huger breaks up ice on the Illinois River. Photo by CBC Pilot Darin Hawkins of the M/V Lydia Campbell.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Special Announcement: Offices Reopening

Canal Barge Company offices in New Orleans and Belle Chasse will reopen at 12:00 pm today, Wednesday, January 29. The Sulphur office is open for business as normal.

Safety of all employees is our focus, so please contact your supervisor if you are unable to be in the office due to a family situation or challenging travel conditions.

Unless otherwise communicated, all CBC offices will resume regular business hours beginning Thursday, January 30.

Stay warm & remain S.A.F.E.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Special Announcement: CBC Office Closures

Please be advised that Canal Barge Company’s New Orleans and Belle Chasse offices will close at noon today in anticipation of freezing rain and low temperatures that will likely cause ice build up along our region’s roads and bridges. CBC’s Sulphur office will remain open with limited staff; Canal Terminal Company and Illinois Marine Towing offices will remain open.

CBC will evaluate the weather/road conditions tomorrow morning and expect all offices to be open around noon tomorrow.

As always, CBC’s priority is the safety of our people, our equipment, our customers’ cargoes, and the environment. Stay warm and stay S.A.F.E.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CBC Hosts Living Lands & Waters for Mississippi River Clean-Up

On December 10, 2013, Canal Barge Company partnered with Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) to host a Mississippi River clean-up in New Orleans. Students enrolled in the AP Environmental Science program at Newman High School also joined CBC employees for the event. The energetic and passionate LL&W crew made the day educational and the group had a great time removing trash from the river bank.

Living Lands & Waters Founder and President Chad Pregracke grew up on the Mississippi River in East Moline, Illinois and has made it his mission to take care of neglected rivers. Most recently, Pregracke was awarded the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year award for his efforts in removing unsightly and toxic accumulations of trash along rivers’ banks. Check out the article and video on CNN’s website here Since 1998, nearly 70,000 volunteers have helped Pregracke and his non-profit remove more than 7 million pounds of garbage from 23 rivers across the country.

Living Lands & Waters was last in New Orleans in the fall of 2005 when they brought supplies down river and helped clean up after Hurricane Katrina. Pregracke said, “We are honored and pleased to have so much support in the New Orleans area.  We are happy to return, after 8 years, to bring the health of our rivers to the attention of everyone who depends upon them, and then working to improve it.”

We are proud to support such a great organization and give back to the river that has made 80 years of successful operations possible for CBC!

Friday, December 6, 2013

CBC Turns 80!

Today, Friday, December 6, 2013, is Canal Barge Company’s 80th anniversary. Since 1933 we have provided high-quality marine transportation and management service to our customers, and we continue to grow our capabilities and service offerings. Thanks to everyone who has supported CBC over the decades, and congratulations to all current and former members of the CBC family!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

CBC & IMT Conduct Annual Vessel Security Exercise

On October 31, 2013, Canal Barge Company and Illinois Marine Towing conducted their Annual Vessel Security Exercise. We want to thank all of our captains for their great work conducting the exercise. Also, we were fortunate to have two members of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans participate with the shoreside team tracking the exercise. The Annual Vessel Security Exercise is an example of CBC and IMT’s commitment to safe, secure, and compliant operations.

Monday, October 28, 2013

100% of CBC Fleet Pass USCG Bridging Program Re-Examination

We’re proud to announce that all CBC boats have been re-examined by the U.S. Coast Guard under their Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) Examination Programs and received decals indicating that they are compliant with Coast Guard regulations. All boats had been issued decals three years ago but they expired this year and so were required to be re-examined. While this program is voluntary, it is important to both CBC and our customers that our boats have up-to-date decals indicating that they are compliant with regulations. The examinations are part of the Towing Vessel Bridging Program, which is a joint program between the towing industry and the Coast Guard to prepare vessels to comply with the forthcoming Subchapter M regulation.

Our success is thanks to the hard work of Assistant Port Captain Daryl Wheeler and all of our Captains. Daryl’s working with the boats and scheduling the exams at a convenient time for each boat and good working relationship with local Coast Guard examiners allowed us to finish all but one boat ahead of schedule (the last boat was delayed by the government shutdown at the beginning of October). We’re proud to say that, even with that delay, we were still the first of the major towing vessel companies to have our entire fleet be re-examined.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Improvements to CBC’s Operations Headquarters

Canal Barge Company has experienced a steady pace of growth over the last decade and our Operations Headquarters, located in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, has become increasingly important to the management of our daily operations as well as interaction with our valued customers and vendors. We are proud to announce the completion of some major improvements to our Operations Headquarters including painting the full exterior, renovating the main conference room and restrooms, and installing a new office trailer to provide additional meeting space and offices as our employee base continues to expand. A special thanks to Keith Cavanagh, CBC Buyer/Warehouse Supervisor, for managing the vendors and the workflow to minimize disruption to CBC’s business. Below is a photo of the repainted office complete with new a Canal Barge sign.