Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Penn Maritime Inc sells to Kirby

1. Penn's Eliza following a drydocking at Halifax Shipyard in 2003. She is an ATB tug - you can see the coupler - and is rarely detached from her barge.

As mentioned the large US tug and barge operator Kirby Corp (a publicly traded company)  has purchased the family owned Penn Maritime in a deal that is expected to close in mid-December. Penn's corporate headquarters are in Stamford, CT, but they operate from Staten Island, NY and Slidell, LA..
Kirby has been on a bit of a buying spree, expanding beyond its inland roots to coastal operations. It is now the only US operator working the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific (including Alaska) coasts and the inland rivers. Latest figures indicate that is fleet consists of 853 inland barges, 246 inland towboats, 63 coastal barges, 63 coastal tugs and 3 offshore drybulk barges.

In July 2011 it acquired K-Sea Transportation (itself an amalgam of Eklof, Roehrig and others) and in 2012 already bought Allied Transportation Co, a small southern operator.
With the Penn Purchase it gets 18 double hull barges and 16 tugs (of theses 12 are ATBs, the others are wire boats).

Penn tug/barges have been regular callers in our waters for many years, most often in Saint John, but also from time to time in Halifax and as far as Newfoundland. They specialize in liquid asphalt, fuel oil and feed stocks, and have been chartered by Irving Oil to carry asphalt in our region and to the US.
Penn Maritime was founded in 1985, but is an offshoot of the Morania Oil Tanker Corp, which dates from 1947 (it also ran small tankers). The two companies had common ownership and shared offices and management, but there was some complication due to family ownership that kept them apart, at least nominally, until 2000. In that year Morania was merged into Penn and thus disappeared. I always liked the fire engine red Morania tugs, but Penn's are a less exciting grey. However many other tug operators have red as their colour, and Penn was virtually unique in their choice. That will likely disappear now when the tugs are repainted and renamed.

2. Penn No.2 was typical of the smaller wire boats operated by Penn, but previously run by Morania. It had been Morania No.2  at that time. It has since been sold and operates as Coral Coast.

For one of Penn's larger wire boats see:

In its prior life with Morania, it was Morania No.6 when I saw it in  Saint John, glistening in wet weather with its spotless red paint and silver :

3. Morania No.6 in the notch of its barge.

The most frequent Penn Maritime tug to be seen in these parts lately has been Coho. It was in Eastern Passage in June, but did not make it easy for the photographer:

It also made a trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland during August/September.

After the nmerger it is likely that the same tugs will continue in the same trades, but under new names.

No comments:

Post a Comment