Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Executive Safety Leadership Workshop

On March 25, 2015, CBC held our first Executive Safety Leadership Workshop. The half-day, off-site meeting was attended by Key Managers and Executive Staff with the purpose of evaluating the company’s safety and leadership culture. The discussion centered on bench-marking CBC’s safety leadership practices and culture against some of the highest performing safety organizations, as identified by the National Safety Council.

The group actively participated in discussions regarding the importance of safety management systems to a company’s safety performance and overall success. The participants also committed to ensuring safety is the foundation of their daily business decisions, and promoting safety regularly with their teams.

CBC’s primary core value is the commitment to the safety and health of all employees, protecting the environment and our equipment. Our goal is zero incidents.

Monday, February 9, 2015

NWF Publishes Study Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Infrastructure Investment

The National Waterways Foundation recently published a fascinating study, ‘An Evaluation of Economic Impacts and the Potential Effects of Infrastructure Investment.’ The study was prepared by the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee. Researchers finished the two-year report in November of 2014.

The study first evaluates the total economic importance of commercial inland navigation to the country in navigation’s present form and assumes only sufficient investment to maintain current system performance. This is followed by a scenario that considers the economy-wide impacts of proposed improvements to navigation system capacity and performance under traffic demands that are similar to current freight flows. Investing in our nation’s waterways infrastructure not only secures a competitive advantage for American-made goods in an international market but also provides family-wage jobs to boost our overall economy.

Check out the NWF Study Brochure here. You can also read the full study here.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Environmental Achievement Awards

At Canal Barge we know that confidence starts with safety and environmental responsibility. On November 13, 2014, 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 23 CBC and 8 IMT vessels received 2013 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 – 15 years
MV HAMILTON – 13 years
MV LUKE BURTON – 10 years
MV SUSAN L. STALL – 10 years
MV CHOCTAW – 6 years
MV COUSHATTA – 6 years
MV INTEGRITY – 6 years
MV JOSEPH M. JONES – 6 years
MV LAKE CHARLES  – 6 years
MV CAROLINE – 5 years
MV BULL CALF – 4 years
MV INNOVATOR – 3 years
MV ELLY LANE – 2 years
MV LIBERTY – 2 years
MV NED MERRICK – 2 years

IMT Vessels:

MV AGGIE C – 15 years
MV ALBERT C – 15 years
MV CHANNAHON – 15 years
MV EILEEN C – 15 years
MV MARY C – 15 years
MV WILLIAM C – 15 years
MV WINDY CITY – 15 years

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thoughts of Thanksgiving from Merritt Lane

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday by far. I love that the whole concept of the holiday is to give thanks for our many blessings – our families, our friends, our health and good fortune. I also love that it is not defined by what you get or even where you go, but by how you feel about your life and the people with whom you share it. While other countries and cultures celebrate similar holidays, our Thanksgiving is uniquely American. What a wonderful opportunity to be reminded of our priorities and how fortunate we are to be alive in these times and in this country with so many freedoms, opportunities and privileges.

I am incredibly grateful for the many wonderful blessings of my life, not least of which is the opportunity to work with and to serve all of you. I want to send a special thank you to all of our men and women who serve aboard our vessels and in other jobs that take them away from home and to wish the entire CBC Family a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Merritt Lane

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spencer Murphy Completes Term as GICA President

Spencer Murphy, General Counsel for Canal Barge Company, wrapped up his term as President of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) in August 2014 by hosting the successful 109th Annual GICA Convention in New Orleans, LA. GICA is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to ensuring the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is properly maintained, operated and improved to provide a safe, efficient, economical and environmentally-sound water transportation route serving the Gulf Coast. Canal Barge Company’s roots date back to operating primarily along the canal system in and around New Orleans. CBC has been a supporter of GICA for many years and values its role in promoting safe and efficient marine transportation between major ports such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston, and Corpus Christi.

The 109th Annual GICA Convention held at the Westin Canal Place focused on the recent passage of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) that was signed into law in June after it passed through both houses of Congress with significant bipartisan support. During the official signing ceremony in June, President Obama said, “Many of America’s businesses ship their goods across the country by river and by canal, so we’ve got to make sure that those waterways are in tip-top shape.” This bill has a significant impact on the various players in the industry and therefore was the primary focus of the convention. Special guests and speakers included Rear Adm. Kevin Cook, Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District; Mike Toohey, President of Waterways Council, Inc.; Gary LaGrange, President CEO of the Port of New Orleans; and the Keynote Speaker was Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA). Rep. Shuster is Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who worked with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) in passing the WRRDA bill. Chairman Shuster also praised the efforts of Jim Stark, GICA Executive Director and Spencer Murphy who helped with lobbying efforts to secure final passage of WRRDA. The convention also touched on important issues such as training needs to develop the next generation of mariners as well as dredging issues and e-navigation tools.

For a comprehensive review of the Annual GICA Convention, check out the August 18th issue of the Waterways Journal.

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.