Friday, May 13, 2011


CNN took a ride on the Canal Barge Company towboat M/V MERRICK JONES on Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, to showcase the historic high water’s impact on navigation and commerce on the Mississippi River. The reporters made multiple live reports from the boat and CNN posted a clip on its website here.

Special thanks to Capt. Keith Menz and the crew of the M/V MERRICK JONES for hosting the CNN crew and providing a window into life and work on a towboat. Also thanks to Ed Chandler for providing ground support at Vicksburg and Baton Rouge.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Orleans Comeback Story in “Inflection Point” by GNO, Inc.

Canal Barge Company is proud to support organizations that are committed to rebuilding the New Orleans area. GNO, Inc. is a regional economic development agency serving the 10-parish Greater New Orleans region that coordinates, consolidates, and catalyzes economic development initiatives. GNO, Inc. recently produced a short video “Inflection Point“ showcasing the economic comeback of Greater New Orleans.

To view the video, click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

CityBusiness Lists CBC in Annual “Top 100 Private Companies”

New Orleans CityBusiness listed Canal Barge Company as #8 in its annual ‘Top 100 Private Companies’ in the New Orleans area (based on revenue). Canal Barge has continued to move higher in this annual listing as we have grown our operations over the years. The Special Focus article is featured in the March 18-24, 2011 issue of CityBusiness.  

Canal Barge is pleased to receive this external recognition, which we believe is an outgrowth of our long-term vision, consistent management, and focus on our strategy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

CICI Honors Del Wilkins for Outstanding Service

On December 2, 2010, the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) presented Del Wilkins with the 2010 “Outstanding Service Award” for his contributions and leadership in the Chicagoland Asian Carp effort throughout 2010. Del Wilkins, Vice President of Terminal Operations and Business Development for CBC, testified in Congress and has been extremely active in the fight to keep the Illinois River System open for business while advacating to stop the spread of Asian Carp in a smart, business-friendly way.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter 2010 CBC “Spotlight”

Communicating with the CBC family through the Spotlight has been a rich tradition since the very first edition was created in the 1960’s. We are delighted to share the Winter 2010 Spotlight with our employees, customers, vendors, family and friends. To view our latest newsletter, please click here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Environmental Achievement Awards

At Canal Barge we know that confidence starts with safety and environmental responsibility. On November 11, 2010, the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) honored U.S. maritime industry ships, tugs and towboats for operating consecutive 2+ years without a fuel spill. We are proud to announce that 18 CBC and 8 IMT vessels received 2010 Environmental Achievement Awards.

Congratulations to the dedicated crews of our vessels being honored with this award for continuing to demonstrate Canal Barge’s commitment to safety and environmental stewardship.

CBC Vessels:
MV MARY LUCY LANE – 11 years
MV NED MERRICK – 11 years
MV HAMILTON – 9 years
MV LUKE BURTON – 6 years
MV SUSAN L. STALL – 6 years
MV CHOCTAW – 2 years
MV COUSHATTA – 2 years
MV INNOVATOR – 2 years
MV INTEGRITY – 2 years
MV JOSEPH M. JONES – 2 years
MV LAKE CHARLES  – 2 years
MV LIBERTY – 2 years
MV SPIRIT – 2 years

IMT Vessels:
MV AGGIE C – 11 years
MV ALBERT C – 11 years
MV CHANNAHON – 11 years
MV EILEEN C – 11 years
MV HENNEPIN I – 11 years
MV MARY C – 11 years
MV WILLIAM C – 11 years
MV WINDY CITY – 11 years

Friday, October 29, 2010

CBC Achieves 100% Compliance with TVBP

On October 19, U.S. Coast Guard Captain J. Scott Paradis, Captain of the Port of Morgan City, presented a letter from Rear Admiral Mary Landry to recognize Canal Barge Company on achieving 100% compliance with the Towing Vessel Bridging Program (TVBP). The U.S. Coast Guard announced on October 6, all 23 Canal Barge Company vessels were awarded Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) decals. The decals signify a vessel has satifactorily completed the voluntary examination process through the TVBP. Canal Barge is proud to of our onboard mariners and our Operations Team that proactively led this voluntary program to completion for our fleet to ensure we always move with confidence.

Friday, October 8, 2010

ConocoPhillips Honors CBC with 2010 “Outstanding Operational Performance” Award

On September 29, 2010, ConocoPhillips honored Canal Barge Company with their 2010 award for “Outstanding Operational Performance” at the second annual Conoco Carrier Conference in Houston, TX.

ConocoPhillips has been a valued customer of CBC for over 20 years, and our relationship is bigger and stronger than ever. We started moving Conoco lube oil in 1989 (from Lake Charles to Hartford, IL) and progressively grew this business over the years. In recent years, we have performed Deck Cargo Services work for Conoco, most notably the expansion of their Wood River, IL refinery. We have stored their asphalt at our Terminal since 2003, and we have also moved Conoco’s pet coke in our hopper barges. ConocoPhillips is the first customer to maintain regular business across all of our lines of operations. And of course, we added the Gulf Unit mariners and equipment in late 2007 to our operations.

It is truly an honor that our professional mariners and shoreside staff have earned this recognition from one of our most valued customers. Clearly, they know that when they entrust their cargo’s to CBC they can “Move with Confidence.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

CTC Announces Construction of Tank Truck/Tank Car Direct Transfer Station

Canal Terminal Company (CTC), a subsidiary of Canal Barge Company, has announced the start of construction on a new dedicated tank truck/tank car direct transfer facility at its bulk liquid storage and handling facility in Joliet, IL. CTC has become a recognized leader in the Chicago area for the storage and handling of a wide variety of hazardous and non-hazardous liquid products. Over the past 10 years, the facility has grown to include over 545,000 bbls (22,890,000 gals) of liquid storage, 3 barge docks, 4 rail spurs 5 truck scales, 1 tank car scale and an on-site laboratory facility. According to Merritt Lane, President/CEO of Canal Barge Company, “the addition of this direct transfer facility will further enhance and support Canal Terminal Company’s position as a premium provider of bulk liquid handling services in the greater Chicago area”. CTC is served via the CSXT.

Once completed, Canal’s new direct transfer facility will allow for products to be transferred directly between tank cars and tank trucks, bypassing the need for storage. All transfer lines will be constructed of stainless steel, and products will be transferred utilizing either nitrogen gas pressure or dedicated pumps. Tank trucks will be loaded directly on a covered 90’ truck scale allowing for multiple compartment loading without the need to pull on and off the scale. Should product heating be required, CTC can provide either hot oil or hot water, depending on the individual requirements. In order to maximize the functionality of the facility, CTC will provide for all intra-plant rail car switching by means of a multi-car capacity rail mover.

Planning for the new facility began over a year ago when it became clear that the overall economic conditions were negatively impacting the ability for various chemical producers and users to source material into the Chicago area in a cost efficient manner. Per Del Wilkins, Canal VP Development and Operations, “we recognized that several of our best customers were delaying, or even canceling, plans to deliver product into storage due to the under-performing economy. Our job at CTC is to find solutions that promote growth, whether by adding new facilities or by assisting our customers with bundled services. Our new direct transfer facility will help those companies unable, at present, to support dedicated tankage.” Over time, CTC is confident many of their direct transfer customers will move into dedicated storage facilities.

Canal Terminal Company is widely recognized as a premium provider of storage services in the Chicago area. CTC employs the latest in technology, including automated handling systems and sophisticated product measuring and monitoring devices. In addition, they pride themselves on superior environmental, safety and regulatory programs. According to Wilkins, “prospective customers of our new facility can rest assured that we will offer the same exacting standards for safety and regulatory compliance that we adhere to at our primary storage facility. We are confident that the systems and operational support we intend to provide will quickly differentiate Canal Terminal Company from its peers.”

For additional information contact Jim Lacy @ 985-727-1840 (o), 504-495-2980 (c) or JLACY@canalterminal.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Retired CBC Captain Simpson Kemp

In the August 9, 2010 issue of the Waterways Journal, retired Canal Barge Company Captain Simpson Kemp was interviewed for some insight into his storied history on the river. Capt. Kemp worked with Canal Barge for over 37 years and is revered on the river as one of the most versatile Captains in the industry. Below, is the full article, courtesy of the Waterways Journal.

Retired Towboat Captain Reminisces

Capt. Simpson Kemp, who grew up watching boats on the Tickfaw River, retired from Canal Barge Company, New Orleans, La., in January, ending a 54-year career on the river, 38 of which were with Canal Barge. He started working on boats when he was 15 and in eighth grade.
Speaking with Hannah Chotin of Canal, Kemp recalled that while he was on a trip with his father to Manchac, La., to sell a load of fish, he noticed a dredging boat and out of curiosity, asked the captain how he could get a job on the boat. The captain simply replied, “Get on that skiff.”
Kemp worked on the dredge boats until he was 18, at which time he traveled to Baton Rouge to find work on a “big boat.” He completed his GED 56 years later.
The “big boat,” he told his interviewer, was the mv. Harry Dyer, a Chotin Transportation vessel that ran from Exxon Baton Rouge to Exxon Pittsburgh. He was a deckhand hired by Capt. Jos. Chotin. The route took about one month round trip; they had to break tow at every lock. That’s when he knew he was hooked, he said. He stayed on the boat for two trips and off for one trip.
He worked for Chotin for 13 years, coming up through the ranks. He remembers seeing the mv. Irene Chotin, which was the first boat to transit the Port Allen Lock.
“Working on boats, you meet all kinds of people from all over the country,” he said. “The river gets in your blood and you can’t get away from it.”
When Midland bought Chotin Transportation in 1971, Simpson traveled to Natchez, Miss., to visit Canal Barge Company about career opportunities and ended up tripping for about a month before becoming a full time Canal pilot.
Kemp told Hannah Chotin, at the beginning of his career when taking a tow to Pittsburgh from Baton Rouge, it wasn’t possible to call the office until reaching Cairo. Also, there was no formal training then. The mate told you what to do and how to do it. He remembered when he was a relatively new captain on the mv. Cypress, he attempted to turn on the radar (a huge WW II model) as the winter night was getting very dark. His supervising captain quickly asked him, “What are you doing? We only use that thing in the fog!”
When computers were added to the boat, Kemp said, he was actually scared of what the change would mean, but he gradually learned the programs and came to realize that they are ultimately tools to help make the waterways safer.
“You have to make sure up-and-coming pilots and captains don’t rely solely on the computer. Often, when I supervise a green captain or pilot, I make them go without the help of a computer for a bit and coach as they drive. That’s the best way to let them learn. They have to trust their senses,” he said.
Kemp said the entire river system is in much better shape today, thanks to the Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard. The locks and dams are more efficient and the navigational safety is much improved. It is better environmentally, too, he said, recalling the days when you’d need a tetanus shot if you fell into the river in the Chicago area.
Living conditions on the boat have changed significantly, he said. The mv. Codrington had no air conditioning and was very noisy. He has seen boats refurbished with soundproofing, black-out shutters and many more advances to ensure the crewmembers have a better quality of life onboard. The regular upkeep of the boats is now to higher standards to ensure better living conditions.
“In the 1990s, we moved Army equipment on barges and the last move I was involved with had 16 barges in the tow; it looked like a giant, floating parking lot. Other captains on the river would ask, ‘Where you goin’ with all that military equipment?’ and I’d reply, ‘This isn’t military equipment; I’m just seriously going to the hunting camp!’”
From then on, river folks called him the “deer hunter,” he said.

Courtesy of the Waterways Journal