Page 6: of Marine News Magazine (March 2016)

Push boats, Tugs & Assist Vessels

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EDITOR’S NOTE f you open this edition of MarineNews – the number one ranked audited magazine in this genre – with an edgy feeling of uncertainty of what’s to come next, then you can also take solace in the fact that you are not alone. You’ve also come to the right place for answers. Now

I well into the ? rst quarter of the New Year, the DHS promise of a February delivery of the ? nal subchapter M rule has come and gone and we are collectively left hanging with the vague threat that it might just come in April. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to prepare for what will – at some point – arrive in our in-box. We do.

This month’s BY THE NUMBERS entry (typically my favorite part of the magazine) gives an especially good snapshot of the nation’s inland and domestic waterfront, all courtesy of the federal Bureau of Statistics’ annual look at ‘Freight Facts and Figures.’ It’s but a small part of keefe@marinelink.com the 111-page document produced by the federal government which examines virtually every aspect of the nation’s intermodal transport equation, with an excellent window into the nation’s towboat and barge industry. I encourage you to check out the full document (linked within our feature) to really sink your teeth into the numbers.

Armed with that primer on the nation’s inland numbers, you are now ready to launch into the rest of the book. With tugs and pushboats as our headliner, we also touch upon ? eet optimi- zation in this edition. Both go hand-in-hand in a pre-sub M world and there’s no one better to explain how to ‘optimize’ your ? eet than MarineNews contributor Kathy A. Smith. Her look at how technology is already transforming the North American workboat market is telling. That story begins on page 32.

It is at times like this that I am often reminded by my good friend – and fellow Mass. Mari- time alumni, Bob Kunkel – that the world of workboats includes more than just tugboats. He’s been proving that to me and everyone else for many years. His latest effort, for example, is ample testimony to the fact that shortsea shipping can and does work. Consistent with our

East Coast focus for this edition, the former Federal Chairman of Marad’s Short Sea Shipping

Cooperative Program also put his money where his mouth is as he drives an innovative Long

Island Sound-based transport service for local agricultural interests in the congested I-95 cor- ridor. Kunkel aims to take the traf? c off the parking lot otherwise known as the Long Island

Expressway and put it onto the water – getting it to consumers faster, cheaper and putting less

NOx, SOx and particulate matter into the air. I wouldn’t bet against him.

Scanning the horizon, it is also a good idea to read yesterday’s logbook. That’s because today’s commercial picture is, at least in part, governed by the regulatory climate that looms ahead.

Can those two variables peacefully coexist? I think that they can. Do we have any other choice?

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Joseph Keefe, Editor, keefe@marinelink.com

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Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.