The WorkBoat Composite Index gained 95 points in September, or about 5%. For the month, winners topped losers 23-7.
All indexes gained ground in September, with suppliers leading the way rising almost 7%.
One of the top percentage gainers for the month was The Greenbrier Companies Inc. The owners of barge builder Gunderson Marine rose almost 30% in September. In late August, Gunderson announced that it would build a 55,000-bbl. articulated tug barge (ATB) for Crowley Fuels, the Alaska-based business unit of Crowley Maritime Corp. Construction will begin in the first quarter with delivery expected by January 2021.
Kirby Corp. was up almost 12% in September. The Houston-based barge operator was hit hard by weather delays in the summer. Through June, the company had over 7,900 delay days, an 86% increase compared to the first six months of 2018. Kirby estimated that these conditions and incremental delays cost the company’s inland marine unit about 10 cents per share through June. However, strong customer demand, improved pricing and consistent barge utilization rates in the mid-90% range contributed to a more than 30% improvement in operating income in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. The high-water operating conditions have improved, which should be reflected in Kirby’s third-quarter results.
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