Page 22: of Marine News Magazine (March 2022)

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Inland Waterways comparison, during the Spring 2020 lockdowns, Kirby’s grow. We still got some chemical plants coming on. And utilization had plunged toward the 60% level, with 2021 as you know, demand for liquid volumes typically goes up providing a recovery up toward 80% utilization. with GDP. We’re looking at a pretty good GDP number

Clark Todd, chairman and CEO of Blessey Marine Ser- this year and probably next year…. [the supply picture] is vices, a New Orleans area based specialist in transporting even better. With barge pricing a new 30,000-barrel barge liquid cargoes for petroleum and petrochemical companies is probably $4.1 million to $4.2 million for a brand-new as well as commodity trading houses, explained to Marine barge. That’s the highest we’ve ever seen. And a lot of that

News, “We have continued to see a moderate increase in is steel price and some labor costs, but at those prices, we’re demand for inland tugboat and barge business to start the not seeing much newbuilds if any at all… and barge retire- year. The equilibrium of supply and demand of our assets ments are still going on because the equipment is getting across the industry is tightening up as fewer new build tug older…So, when you put supply and demand together, boats and barges will be built in 2022. We are optimistic this is about the best we’ve seen in a long, long time, and that the upcoming summer driving season will yield stron- we think it’s a multiyear kind of upswing.” ger demand as consumption of re? ned products increases. Equity analyst Gregory Lewis, from brokerage BTIG,

So, we look for 2022 to be a better year for everyone in the in a report released following Kirby’s call—where his rec- inland tugboat in barge business.” ommendation was upgraded to “Buy” from “Neutral”—

In the investor call’s Q&A session, Kirby’s Grzebinski wrote, “After limping along for years, ? rst around barge offered similar sentiments, saying, “Demand continues to oversupply (2017-2019) and then from COVID (2020-

USACE 22 | MN March 2022

Marine News

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