David KrapfDavid Krapf
David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989. He has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

Blog Activity

For barge companies, oil isn't everything

Some inland barge companies stayed away from crude, seeing the demand for barges as a result of fracking as temporary. About three years ago, before hydraulic fracking took off, crude oil shipments from the Midwest to the Gulf via barge were almost nonexistent. By the end of 2013, however, volumes were close to 5 million bbls. per month. Barge companies like American Commercial Lines saw opportunity. ACL invested $69 million in 35 new tank barges in 2012 and another $38 million in 2013....

Another offshore energy cycle

Everyone agrees that we are now officially in the midst of a major offshore downturn. A year ago in our annual offshore cover story in WorkBoat, we sounded a word of caution in our annual offshore energy report that most of the majors would likely reduce capital expenditures. Analyst Allen Brooks said we were entering a “new era of austerity.” But many viewed the growing sluggishness offshore as merely a bump in the road rather than a major slowdown. They cited the...

Barge operators still humming along

The past few years have been very good for barge companies. The past few years have been very good for barge companies. One barge company owner told me recently that last year was by far its best year ever, and others have reported record earnings, strong balance sheets and excellent cash flow. In its fourth-quarter earnings call in January, Kirby reported that 2014 was the barge company’s fourth consecutive year of record earnings — $4.93 per share compared with $4.44 per share in...

Coast Guard is asked to do more with less … again

The U.S. Coast Guard provides a great return on investment and should get the funding it needs to replace its aging assets. The U.S. Coast Guard provides a great return on investment. That’s what the agency’s commandant, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, said at a congressional hearing in late February. That’s also what he told Passenger Vessel Association members earlier that month at the annual convention in California. Zukunft addressed a House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and...

Making sense of low oil prices

Oil prices remain depressed. Today, West Texas Intermediate was trading at around $51 bbl. In this environment, it’s important to keep up with what effect low oil prices are having on the offshore market, in particular what’s in store for OSV and rig operators. This and other topics will be discussed at the upcoming WorkBoat OSV Summit in Houston on April 2. Oil prices remain depressed. Today, West Texas Intermediate was trading at around $51 bbl. The low oil prices have...

Battling fires, rec boaters and oil prices

In the March cover story, technical editor Bruce Buls writes about Fremont Maritime Service’s India Tango fire training program in Seattle.   Yesterday, we wrapped up the March issue of WorkBoat, which should hit your mailboxes at the end of the month. In it, we tackle several subjects. In the March cover story, technical editor Bruce Buls writes about Fremont Maritime Service’s India Tango fire training program in Seattle. Fremont specializes in hands-on, 1,400°F training at...

The hurt from lower oil prices

Lower oil prices continue to plague OSV operators, but there is some hope on the horizon. Lower oil prices continue to plague OSV operators, resulting in lower day rates and utilization. Several operators have reportedly been idling equipment. And the news will likely get worse before improving in early 2016, analysts say. In a note to clients late last month, Michael Cohen of Barclays slashed the bank’s 2015 Brent crude oil average price forecast to $44 bbl., down 40% from its $72 bbl....

Rec traffic is a big safety problem on rivers

Inland and Great Lakes mariners know all about what appears to be a growing problem on the waterways — reckless recreational boaters.Inland and Great Lakes mariners know all about what appears to be a growing problem on the waterways — reckless recreational boaters.  Fellow blogger and WorkBoat columnist Capt. Alan Bernstein has been very vocal on the issue — something his Cincinnati-based passenger vessel operation deals with almost daily — in his blogs and columns. Alan and other...

Closer ties needed with industry, Coast Guard commandant says

The U.S. Coast Guard is “back in the living room” with its maritime partners.  After veering heavily toward security after 9/11, the U.S. Coast Guard is “back in the living room” with its maritime partners. That was one of the messages delivered yesterday by Commandant Paul F. Zukunft at the Passenger Vessel Association’s annual meeting in Long Beach, Calif.Zukunft, who was named commandant eight months ago, told passenger vessel operators that of all the sectors it regulates, he was...

Oil prices and OSVs: It’s not all bad news

OSV operators are one tough bunch and the current down cycle isn’t their first rodeo.The news continues to be ominous for rig and boat operators in the Gulf oil patch. Oil prices hit a six-year low today with WTI falling below $44 bbl. for the first time since 2009. There is plenty of oil out there and U.S. production reportedly continued to increase last week. As most workboat industry veterans know, the OSV and rig markets and oil prices are cyclical. Sure the market has soured...