October is the time for autumn foliage, football and the International WorkBoat Show.
Huh? Isn’t the International WorkBoat Show normally held in December?
Yes folks, but this year the workboat industry’s largest show will be held Oct. 9-11 in New Orleans when, barring a late-season hurricane, the weather should be quite pleasant.
The great weather should fit in nicely with the current mood in our industry — sunny and optimistic. Business is good. In my travels this year to shipyards in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin, I heard mostly sunny, positive outlooks from yard officials.
Here in the Gulf it’s been booming. Fleet utilization and day rates for offshore service vessels are strong and continue to strengthen as evidenced by our monthly survey of U.S. Gulf operators. Shipyards such as Eastern and TY Offshore are building new OSVs at an energetic pace. And with an estimated 14 rigs set to enter the Gulf through 2014, few operators are concerned about overbuilding.
Tidewater, Hornbeck Offshore, Harvey Gulf International Marine and others are seeing a good indicator of market strength — the desire by customers to lock up contracts for new vessels before their delivery dates.
As Tidewater said in its August conference call with analysts, the trend is positive in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, where they expect fleet count, utilization and average day rates to continue to increase in the next couple of quarters, generally by adding larger equipment on multiyear charters.
Our keynote speaker at this year’s show, Shane Guidry, CEO of Harvey Gulf, also expects to see his company’s U.S. Gulf fleet count, day rates, utilization and long-term charters continue to strengthen over the coming quarters.
Once again we expect the WorkBoat Show to be the biggest ever, with thousands of products and services on display.
I anticipate another great show, so be sure to register. I hope to see you in The Big Easy in three weeks.