Page 37: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2019)
WORKBOATS SOUTHERN TOWING COMPANY “It’s health, it’s safety, it’s security, it’s environmental, its quality and it’s training. That is our license to operate, and if we take care of those things ? rst, a lot of times everything else just falls into place. I like to say we are in a 5 mph business – nothing’s so important to rush and sacri? ce safety.”
Ed Grimm, President & CEO,
Southern Towing Company
Photo: Southern Towing Company hypothesized you could take the heat from the exhaust So, in essence, innovating and staying a step ahead of the people (in the business) and I really respected of the main engine on the tow boat and use it to heat of regulation as a business imperative? them. I loved the idea of Z-drives, and I thought there product on a barge; albeit, you have to circulate heat It’s kind of like Subchapter M. Early on we identi? ed was a lot of potential to take those to another level. transfer oil across the interface between the barge and our gaps and started to address them to make an easier the tug. I worked with a naval architect to help put the transition come 2019? An we are very far along.Did we How is the Southern Towing that you joined ? ve idea together and we were awarded the patent. take a risk by doing things that maybe we didn’t have years ago most the same? How is it most different?
Another patent is around hot oil products and improv- to do? Perhaps. But I think we were far ahead in the A lot of CEOs of American corporations say that peo- ing the ef? ciency of maintaining the heat, i.e. burning preparation for Sub M. So it’s not all about price-per- ple are their greatest assets, and I think some of that is less fuel to maintain the temperature of the product. barrel-moved, it’s total dollars to move a product. So not sincere. But we really have a great group of profes-
Both of these patents were ? led when the International total cost per unit delivered is what traders and custom- sionals at STC, for example VP of HR celebrates 45
Maritime Organization (IMO) started talking about ers look at. So how can you help lower the cost without years with the company this year.
low sulfur fuel. My theory was that (with the advent of giving away your margin?
IMO 2020) the price of fuel would spike – the price of That’s a long tenure!
diesel fuel would spike – and the cost to heat product When you joined Southern Towing, what attracted Yes it is. His son works here too. Our lead captain on barges would go up. I wanted to ? nd a way to help you to the position? has been here almost 40 years. (Top to bottom) it’s just mitigate that. It’s not that it’s a panacea, but I looked at It was an opportunity to be a President and a CEO, a great group of people that are dedicated to teamwork this as a way to defer or lower the cost to heat product which I had not experienced at that point. I had run op- and serving the customer. One of the senior guys said, in the inland barge business. erations, but I was not the CEO. I have a desire to pass “Don’t worry about the mule – just load the wagon.”
It sounds simple, and what’s funny is you look at a on the experiences that I’ve gained over the years to It’s just a great testament that people are focused on lot of patents – they are simple. There’s a lot of really younger executives. Having previously concentrated on getting the job done. neat solutions that if people just put them on paper and petroleum products, I thought it was a great opportunity talked to a patent attorney, they could go out and do it. to learn a different part of the marine transportation in- How do you attract and retain good people?
Imagination drives innovation. dustry, which is fertilizers and dry cargo. I knew some How do you put your money where your mouth is? www.marinelink.com 37
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