2018 US Tug & Barge Outlook

What do people working in the tug and barge trade from various areas of country forecast for 2018?

Alaska. I’ll start off by saying that it looks like Alaska is above the bottom and slowly trending upward again.

any big Federal projects taking place in AK this coming summer? new harbors, breakwaters, piers, etc…? that was always a big driver for NW based towing operators.

The continuing Puerto Rico sealift will help out the east and gulf coast operators.

I have not heard about any big new federal projects, but undoubtedly there are some road and airport improvement projects in the works. The environmental approval process takes years. The Cold War era environmental clean up projects are still underway, but at a slow bell. I’m not sure how much oil company work is scheduled for Prudhoe Bay.

The Seattle subway project has been providing a lot of work hauling aggregate for the Seattle tug companies, but that must be nearing an end. Lumber transport should be picking up.

Awhile ago Crowley hired McAllister to put a couple of extra tugs and barges on Puerto Rico runs. I hear that McAllister was flooded with hundreds of resumes from guys with ocean licenses eager to work for $500 a day. I assume Crowley has probably reposition some of their own equipment for this work.

There should be a lot of marine demolition and construction work, but it may still be too early.

Foss put a couple boats on the pr run as well

Is Foss simply being a middleman getting government contracts and then hiring on low bidder outside tugs, barges and crews? Or is Foss using its own tugs, barges and crews—which boats?

Probably as middle men. Tradewinds, Mac, Smith Maritime, and some coonass tug companies are all on those extra PR runs.

Mac has one of their best (for a Mac boat) towboats laid up with its ABS expired due to a lack of forward thinking. Now to get that boat back in action it would have to be brought up to current ABS standards instead of the ones it was grandfathered into.

One day you are making tows up and down the coast, thinking you are making the company money, next thing your boat is getting laid up because they don’t want to spend the money on it, even though it’s one of the offshore boats that’s in better shape.


Foss has a Boat running to PR with a Container Barge. About a week ago there were pictures on FB of the Corbin towing a Container Barge with a could of Stacks laid over.

Corbin Foss with Container Barge

Credit to Mike Galvan for the Pictures

Edited to add more pictures


I know the Lauren foss for sure and another boat

The lashing chains only go up to the bottom of the third containers. What a joke. Foss isn’t what it use to be.

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Did they lash all the way across or just the outside 3 or 4 stacks on each side?

Probably some gang from a “sh*thole” country that did the lashing??

I cannot determine that from the photos posted.

No. It was the American longshoremen earning an average of $144,000 a year each who did the lashing.

This was Foss (TOTE) Jacksonville management being too cheap, or simply not knowing how to lash a barge, and the American cargo surveyor who approved it.

I’m starting to wonder how much damage TOTE has done to Foss.


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