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WorkBoat Watch

David Krapf, Editor-in-Chief Business stays strong heading into the show


November 12, 2012

For the workboat industry, I don’t think it mattered much who won the election last week. Why? Because I believed that under either Obama or Romney, the industry would not only be OK, but it would continue to gain strength next year and into 2014.

A big reason is the continued post-Macondo bounce in the Gulf of Mexico. Since early last year, growth in the U.S. Gulf rig and OSV markets has been steady. Throughout 2012, deepwater offshore permitting has continued to increase.

Shipyards have also started to refill order books. For Gulf yards, much of it is tied to the rebound offshore, and big fleet expansion plans from Harvey Gulf, Hornbeck and others. But other U.S. shipyards are filling slots with tugs, towboats, barges, ferries and other passenger vessels.

And despite the drought shaving a few pennies from quarterly earnings, barge operators are still doing OK and continue to show discipline, keeping barge supply-demand close to equilibrium. There was also some good news in the passenger vessel sector this year with the return of overnight paddlewheelers to the Mississippi River.

This should make for a great International WorkBoat Show. Once again, it is expected be our biggest show ever, with thousands of products and services on display. The show is set for Dec. 5-7 in New Orleans and exhibit hall registration is free through Dec. 4. You can register here.

For complete information, go to the International WorkBoat Show.

Expand/View Comments -  1 Comments
11/13/2012 16:21:22 WILLIAM ARCHER says:

I am bothered more by the fact that the Obama Administration seems to be willing to waive off the Jones Act at the drop of a hat. Sure, Hurricane Sandy was tragic, but the decision to bring foreign ships in to move product that US equipment could and should have handled was over zealous to say the least. For the most part, the terminals that those ships would have been going to, aren't even up and running, 2-weeks after the storm struck. Plenty of time for other US resources to be utilized. I work on a coast ATB, and we have been busy....moving some of the product from the National Reserve system, to help with demand, but I feel that the problems at the terminals as gas stations, isn't a supply problem, but a transfer and delivery problem. Business will stay strong, but I don't think we really have any "friends" with this administration. Just my Opinion!

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