Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Co. has sold five towboats to Canal Barge Company Inc. (CBC) As part of the transaction, New Orleans-based CBC has offered employment to all of Pine Bluff’s 80 transportation division mariners.

Before the sale, Pine Bluff Sand's transportation division, based in Alexandria, La., operated seven towboats ranging in size from 1,800 hp to 6,000 hp. The vessels included in the transaction are three 6,000-hp towboats, the Don Boling, Bill Atkinson and Gerald Majors; and two 1,800 horsepower retractable-wheelhouse towboats, the Bill Rodgers and George Rowe.

Canal Barge will continue to provide transportation services to Pine Bluff for its crushed stone and riprap needs. The deal will not affect operations or employment at other Pine Bluff operations. Pine Bluff will retain its barge assets and remaining harbor/tender boat fleet.

“We are excited to strengthen our capabilities to deliver our construction aggregates by deepening our existing relationship with CBC,” said Pine Bluff’s CEO Brian McGeorge. “Pine Bluff and Canal Barge are both family‐owned companies with similar company cultures and values with deep roots in the maritime business. We’ve worked closely with CBC for the past five years and are excited about the opportunities this presents our mariners.

“As we surveyed the towing landscape, it became increasingly apparent that maintaining a competitive economy of scale as a smaller towing operation was going to be difficult.," McGeorge continued. "We owe it to all of our employees to put them in the best position for long-term success and believe that has been achieved here.”

Founded in 1913 in Pine Bluff, Ark., Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel is a construction aggregates producer and marine and highway contractor with operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Illinois, and Tennessee.

“We are excited to welcome all of the Pine Bluff mariners to the CBC family," said Merritt Lane, CEO of Canal Barge. "This transaction is a natural result of the deep and mutually successful partnership that we have enjoyed with Pine Bluff for several years and is an important step to advance CBC’s 'Towboat Fleet of the Future' strategy. The Pine Bluff boats are extremely well-conditioned and ideally suited to CBC’s long-term needs.”

Canal Barge was founded in 1933 and is one of the largest and most diversified privately-owned marine transportation and logistics companies in the U.S.