The pace of inland tank barge deliveries during the first half of 2019 are up 52% over same time last year deliveries, according to River Transport News.

RTN’s midyear survey of new inland tank barge delivery activity shows “the inland barge industry operating on the Mississippi River System and its connecting waterways took delivery of 50 new inland tank barges during the first six months of 2019.”

For the first six months of 2018, 33 tank barges were delivered. So the 2019 total of 50 is a 52% gain year to year. Even more impactful, “a dramatic shift in favor of 30,000-bbl. equipment, aggregate barge deliveries measured in bbls. increased by an impressive 181%, growing from 390,000 bbls. last year to 1.097 million bbls. of capacity delivered during the first six months of 2019,” RTN reported.

Barge companies took delivery of 27 new 30,000-bbl. tank barges through June of this year as compared to just three 30,000-bbl. barges for the first six months of 2018, according to RTN. There were only 20 30,000-bbl. tank barges delivered during the whole year.

However, deliveries of 10,000-bbl. inland tank barges dropped significantly during the first six months of 2019, falling from 30 deliveries during the first half of 2018 to 17 through June 2019. There was a total of 51 10,000-bbl. tank barges delivered during 2018. In addition, three 15,000-bbl. and three 24,000-bbl. barges have been delivered so far this year, compared to none in the first half of 2018, the newsletter reported.

Mandeville, La.-based Maritime Partners LLC, purchased the largest number of new inland tank barges during the first half of 2019. “Maritime Partners, however, charters this equipment to others and to the extent possible, RTN will identify new equipment deliveries by operator. Given this caveat, Devall Towing was the most prolific operator during the first half of 2019 with respect to new inland tank barges entering its fleet. Duvall took delivery of 10 new inland tank barges having an aggregate capacity of 182,000 bbls. These barges consisted of five 10,000 bbl. barges, three 24,000 bbl. barges and two 30,000 bbl. barges.”

Other operators that took delivery of inland tank barges during the first half of the year included Canal Barge Co. (seven), Enterprise Marine (five), Marathon Petroleum (five), and NGL Marine (four), according to the survey.

Builders of these barges was led by Arcosa Marine Products, which used to be Trinity Marine Products. The company’s shipyards in Caruthersville, Mo., and Ashland City, Tenn., produced a total of 30 inland tank barges — 20 30,000 bbl. and 10 10,000 bbl. — during the first six months of 2019, totaling 700,000 bbls. of normal aggregate capacity. “Arcosa’s activity level will accelerate during the second half of 2019 as the company begins delivering new 30,000 bbl. tank barges from its previously idled Madisonville, La. Shipyard,” RTN reported.

Other active shipyards in the construction of inland tank barges between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year included Southwest Shipyard (10), Conrad Industries (seven), and West Gulf Marine (three). “With the additional deliveries likely to come from Arcosa’s Madisonville, La. Shipyard, new tank barge capacity this year will more than last year’s total,” the survey said.



Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.