The WorkBoat Composite Index gained 64 points in October, or about 3%. For the month, winners topped losers 17-12.

The three indexes were a mixed bag in October, with Operators and Shipyards losing ground and Suppliers up for the month.

Among the top percentage gainers was Arcosa. The company, which was spun off by Trinity Industries in 2018, said its barge business received orders for $92 million during the third quarter. The orders included a healthy mix of dry and liquid barges with pricing reflecting more robust demand. The barge backlog totaled $363.8 million at the end of September, up 58% year to date, and includes approximately $260 million of production visibility for 2020. Barge revenue has increased each quarter this year and Arcosa expects it to increase again in the fourth quarter as all three of the company’s plants reach higher production levels.

The healthy barge revenue and order activity supports “our decision to reopen a third barge plant earlier this year,” Antonio Carrillo, Arcosa’s president, CEO and director, said during his company’s Oct. 31 third-quarter earnings call. He was pleased to note that over half the orders in the third quarter were for dry barges.

“This is the first time we have seen significant orders for dry barges in a long time. We are optimistic but it’s still too early to tell if the pickup is sustainable.”

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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, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.