Think you have all the answers when it comes to Subchapter M? If you do, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard immediately. What about all the moving parts of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act? You good with them? If so, please contact the U.S. Congress ASAP. All clear on the parameters of the barge tax? What it means for your company? Some owners who said they would never build a Z-drive towboat now have one or two on order. Why?

WorkBoat’s one-day Future of the Inland Waterways Summit in New Orleans on Tuesday, March 31, will tackle these topics as well as the economic future of the inland river system. Sure, there are plenty of conferences, expositions, conventions, etc. throughout the year that focus on the U.S. inland waterways. So why is WorkBoat putting together another one, you might ask? Well, because these meetings are important and WorkBoat knows a little something about hosting these types of events. Don’t believe me? Mike Toohey, president and CEO of the Waterways Council Inc. is set to deliver the keynote address and inland waterways experts such as Austin Golding, co-owner of Golding Barge Line and Tommy Parfait, owner of the marine design firm Parfait Maritime Designs will anchor a panel focusing on how towboat operators can make their vessels more comfortable and fuel efficient, from air bellows systems that help reduce vibration and noise to the advantages of Z-drive propulsion systems. Also, Joshua Sebastian of The Shearer Group will discuss his company's new LNG towboat design, WorkBoat’s editor-in-chief David Krapf will handle the hosting duties, and I’ll be there to sweep out the place after everyone leaves. 

Our parent company, Diversified Communications, specializes in trade shows and face-to-face events covering a litany of industries throughout the world, including the International WorkBoat Show, Pacific Marine Expo and the WorkBoat Maintenance & Repair Conference and Expo that makes its debut in New Orleans in April. They know what they’re doing.

So, come on and register for the summit. Not only will you get information you can use for your business, but also the great late March weather, as well as the hospitality and the food New Orleans is famous for. I look forward to seeing you there.  


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.