At Marine Money’s New York Ship Finance Forum held in late last month, Eric Fabrikant, chief operating officer of Seacor Holdings Inc., discussed his company's foray into container-on-barge service.
Seacor, Fabrikant said, looks at investments in “less commoditized sectors” of the terminal and transport business. He mentioned LNG bunkering that is starting to gain attention in the U.S., and described Seacor’s interest (along with that of others) in taking a look at projects in this “nascent space.” Noting the decades long experience in the inland transportation with its SCF Marine unit that operates a fleet of hopper barges on the U.S. inland waterways, he stressed the importance of transferring the company’s extensive knowledge to new businesses.
When the moderator, Washington, D.C., lawyer Anthony Salgado of Blank Rome LLP, asked about “marine highways,” a concept that has not gained traction to date, Fabrikant cited its Seacor AMH, part of SCF Marine. The two-year-old container-on-barge service links the inland rivers to the ports of New Orleans and Mobile, Ala. “It’s been a good and successful start,” said Fabrikant. “It’s early ... but we’re pleased with the results so far.”
Importantly, Seacor AMH benefits from another unit, Seacor Island Lines, which trades between Port Everglades, Fla., (Seacor’s base) and ports in the Bahamas and Caribbean. This acquired bluewater logistics expertise (going beyond purely vessel operating and dealing closely with customer needs) provides a customer-centric framework for the domestic “marine highway” entity.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Seacor boasts a diversified mix of services including inland river, crisis and emergency management preparedness and response solutions, and harbor towing. The company spun off its offshore marine transportation unit, Seacor Marine, in May.