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Monday, December 23, 2019

CBC’s Del Wilkins Honored with Prestigious River Bell Award

The 20th annual River Bell Awards Luncheon hosted by the Seamen’s Church Institute took place Dec. 5 at Paducah McCracken County Convention & Expo Center. The River Bell Awards were established in 2000 to recognize the contributions to the inland maritime industry, an industry that provides our nation with over half a million jobs and is critical in economic output according to American Waterways Operators.

The River Bell Award is its most prestigious honor.

SCI confers at a chosen location each year to recognize an individual or group in the river community for outstanding leadership, significant commitment to U.S. mariners and engagement with issues facing the inland marine industry.

The CBC Family’s own Del Wilkins was this year’s recipient.

“The highlight of the luncheon came during Wilkins’ acceptance speech of the River Bell Award,” wrote Steven Iles, reporter for The Paducah Sun.

Attendees of the luncheon recounted Wilkins speech as not only inspiring but humbling as he shared lessons that his father and grandfather had taught him and the many accomplishments and challenges in his career.

He was undoubtedly honored to be recognized by his peers.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Special Announcement: CBC Acquires 5 Towboats from Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel

Canal Barge Company is excited to announce that we have reached agreement with Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel (PBSG) to acquire five of their towboats and to offer employment to their 80 professional mariners who we are very pleased to welcome into the CBC Family. This transaction is a natural result of the deep and mutually successful partnership that we have enjoyed with PBSG for several years and is an important step to advance CBC’s Towboat Fleet of the Future strategy. The PBSG boats are extremely well-conditioned and ideally suited to CBC’s long-term needs. PBSG has indicated that they plan for CBC to continue to be their preferred partner for their marine transportation needs and we are enthusiastic about our future together. The vessels we are acquiring are as follows:

3- 6000 Horsepower Towboats

  • M/V Don Boling
  • M/V Bill Atkinson
  • M/V Gerald Majors

2- 1800 Horsepower Retractable Wheelhouse Towboats

  • M/V Bill Rodgers
  • M/V George Rowe

We welcome our newest teammates and these excellent vessels into our company and look forward to showing them why we believe that People Make the Difference at CBC!

Monday, July 1, 2019

CBC Receives Marathon Petroleum Elite Carrier Recognition

Marathon Petroleum visited the New Orleans Office in June to formally give CBC their Elite Carrier Recognition Award for excellent service in 2018. Marathon’s Elite Carrier Recognition Program recognizes 3rd party vendors for their exemplary performance in the areas of health, safety, environment, reporting and customer service on an annual basis. Congratulations to the management team and the crews of the MV Marian Hagestad and MV Hamilton for exemplifying our vision of being the best-in-class service provider to our customers!

Left to right: from Marathon – Kate Recker (Commodity Coordinator Analyst), Nicole Ammon (Advanced Business Development Rep), and Vince Petrella (Sr Business Development Adviser), and from CBC – Clyde Hunt (Pilot on MV Marian Hagestad), Dave Sullins (retired Captain on MV Hamilton), Joe Tyson (Sr. VP of Operations), and David Lane (Sr. VP of Marketing).

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Honoring a D-Day Hero – Frank Golemi

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day when Allied forces successfully invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy. While we remember the sacrifice many made to liberate Europe, we also honor one of CBC’s legends and vessel namesake – Frank Golemi – who flew a C-47 to transport paratroopers behind enemy lines that day.

Frank enlisted in the Air Force soon after the outbreak of World War II in 1941. He first saw combat in the skies over Normandy on June 6, 1944: D-Day. Flying through machine gun fire and tracer bullets, Frank and his crew fought to deliver paratroopers to locations behind enemy lines. Among the men who rode in his plane were members of the 101st Airborne Division. When asked to describe that day, Frank recalled, “When we crossed over the English Channel, it looked like all hell broke loose. Think of a fireworks display and compound it. Flying through bullets coming from all directions and flying at less than 1,000 feet. Flak exploding to your right, left and in front of you. (Wondering) am I going to make it? I guess I did!”

Frank’s service continued with more missions in Europe, transporting critical supplies and supporting the ground effort through to the end of the war. After the war, Frank became a commercial airline pilot then went on to receive a degree from Loyola University. Canal Barge Company founder, Joseph Merrick Jones Sr., hired Frank as a part-time accountant in 1948, then as a full-time employee in 1950. Frank remained dedicated to supporting the Jones family through an impressive career spanning 70 years. Frank Golemi passed away on May 2, 2018, at the age of 96.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Canal Terminal Company Receives Shell Chemical’s Mid-size Terminal of the Year Award

We are very pleased to announce that Canal Terminal Company was awarded Shell Chemical’s Mid-size Terminal of the Year award at the recent Carrier/Terminal conference in Houston, Texas.

The award is based on HSSE and operational performance of the company. KPI’s are reported to Shell on a quarterly basis and the metrics include incidents, near misses, HSSE program, truck, rail and barge turn around.

Nate Poullard, Shell’s third-party contract manager acknowledged the consistent effort and continual improvement demonstrated by the terminal. Shell stores with 14 third-party terminals. Nicole Hameister, Sharon Krope and Cindy Van Duyne accepted the award on behalf of the company. Congratulations to the team for this well deserved recognition!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Crew of the MV Joseph Merrick Jones Receives USCG Meritorious Public Service Awards

We are proud to announce that the entire crew of the MV Joseph Merrick Jones received the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Award for safely executing a rescue mission of a stranded pleasure boat back in September of 2018. The crew was also recognized as an award winner for Canal Barge Company’s Courage to Care program which recognizes employees for taking Stop Work Obligation to heart.

What Happened:

In the early morning hours of September 1, 2018, a pleasure boat with 6 people onboard struck a dyke on the Lower Mississippi River at mile marker 375. The initial notice from the USCG indicated there were injuries onboard and they were taking on water. Immediate assistance from vessels in the area was needed.

As soon as the USCG notice was received, the Pilot Adam Dobbs notified Captain Roy McManus. The MV Joseph Merrick Jones (JMJ) was Southbound and approximately 3 miles from the location of the incident. Thanks to our regular response drills, the crew jumped into action. The boat immediately notified CBC Dispatch and Port Captain Ken Billiot that the JMJ would be stopping to help the stranded pleasure boat and provide any assistance needed to rescue the people involved.

Another vessel that was Northbound a couple miles away also stopped to render assistance. The other vessel launched their skiff and met the JMJ crew as they were arriving on scene. The JMJ stopped mid-channel, provided lighting, directed their skiff in to the stranded party and launched the JMJ’s small boat to assist. CBC Mate Chad Perez and Deckhand Dylan Littlejohn led the charge from our small boat and passed on information of the injuries to the JMJ. In the JMJ’s wheelhouse, Pilot Adam Dobbs and Steersman Mathew Cole assisted Capt. Roy with the task of keeping a look out of the situation, directing traffic in the area and communicating with the USCG, Sheriff’s Department, and Wildlife and Fisheries that were arriving on scene with paramedics. During the rescue operation, the other vessel’s skiff ran aground in the darkness. Since the Wildlife and Fisheries agents were unable to reach the grounded boat, Chad and Dylan transferred the individuals to our small boat and brought them out two at a time to the waiting paramedics. Once all the people were transferred to the Wildlife and Fisheries, Chad and Dylan set about the task of retrieving the grounded skiff.

As Captain Roy recalls, “When Adam called down at 0430 to notify me, I told the deckhand on watch, Riley Cutchin, to get everyone up and to prepare for a rescue mission. I never had to say another word to any of them, they all went to their assigned post and had radios in hand waiting directions. Darrell Tune (Cook on the JMJ) had the onboard medical bag ready just in case. The crew of the MV Joseph Merrick Jones handled themselves with professionalism that made me proud to be the captain of this vessel with this crew. They all knew their stations, went to them immediately upon hearing of the situation without hesitation and stood by at the ready.” This is just one example of the importance of conducting drills on board as everyone knew their role.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Thanksgiving Message from Merritt Lane

President and CEO Merritt Lane shares a personal message of gratitude every Thanksgiving to the CBC Family. See below for this year’s message.

Hi everyone,

This Thanksgiving is a particularly special one as Elly and I welcome our three girls back home and for a few days the five of us are all together. It’s so much fun to have our empty nest filled again with their youthful spirit, camaraderie and joy. It’s also a different holiday for us as Elly and I both lost a parent this year. It’s been a year of transition and reflection for us. We are truly blessed and grateful for our wonderful family and to have had parents who cared about us and shaped us with their examples of kindness, humility, loyalty  and goodwill. Life is never without its challenges, but it is exceptionally good for me and my family.

There’s a growing field called positive psychology that focuses on ways individuals and groups can live happier and healthier lives  by cultivating what is best within ourselves and learning to enhance our life experiences by focusing on the positive in our lives. Practicing gratitude is at its core. It has been scientifically proven that an attitude of gratitude increases happiness, improves health, enhances our sense of self-worth, fosters stronger relationships and makes us more productive…and it is entirely driven by individual effort and discipline. I know how grateful I am for the opportunities, experiences and people in my life and am committed to be better at sharing my gratitude with others for all that they do for me. What better time to do that than on Thanksgiving Day?

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

One of the greatest blessings in my life is the opportunity to work with all of you. You are more than work colleagues to me, you are my family – the CBC Family. You inspire me daily with your selflessness, your discipline and your commitment to your profession and to our company. I want you to  know how grateful I am for all that you do for all of us. The most important lesson I have learned in my 32 years with this company is that all of the success we have enjoyed in Canal Barge’s 85 years in business is derived from our people. There is no doubt in my mind that “People Make the Difference” is far more than a slogan at CBC. Trusting relationships, the strong will and great skill to continuously innovate and improve our organization, and a culture of both high expectations and care for each other create the strong foundation and resilient nature of our enterprise. As I sometimes say, we are proud of our equipment and facilities, but what makes us distinct is our people. So again, I want to say thank you to every member of the CBC Family.

As you know, our business never closes and our customers’ requirements for flawless execution must be met on a 24-7-365 basis. I want to especially thank all of you who are working over the holidays for your dedication to our company. Your professionalism is awe inspiring and much appreciated. Thank you for staying focused and making safety both at work and at home your personal commitment.

My wish for all of you continues to be that you and your families enjoy good health, strong relationships and fulfilling and meaningful lives. I encourage all of us to embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving by reflecting on our many blessings and practicing an attitude of gratitude. Thank you again for everything and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay S.A.F.E. !!

Merritt

Friday, May 25, 2018

CBC Named in Times-Picayune’s 2018 Best Places to Work!

On Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Times Picayune hosted a breakfast banquet at the Morial Convention Center for 50 New Orleans-based companies that were named as the “Best Places to Work” in 2018. Based on the survey data that was submitted earlier in the year, CBC was able to grab a spot as one of the best places to work in the midsize division. Aside from the “Best Place to Work” award, our President and CEO, Merritt Lane, also received a well-deserved “Leadership Award” for his ability to engage his audience in his well-thought out speeches, while always including a meaningful message.

At CBC, we believe in maintaining a strong culture, and not coincidentally, that was the main message that was expressed during the presentation portion of this event. Congrats to all of our dedicated employees, as we could not have received this award again without your ideas and comments from the survey!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Message of Gratitude from Merritt Lane

Hi everyone,

I want to share a brief note of thanks to all of you for all that you do for CBC. Your constant commitment and professionalism is inspiring and much appreciated by all of us. I especially want to recognize all members of the CBC Family who are working today and who are away from their family this Thanksgiving providing our customers with the flawless service they have come to expect from CBC.  As you know, we continue to experience challenging market conditions that are, in many ways, the worst we have seen in our industry since the mid-1980s. Fortunately, we have a sound business strategy, numerous committed partnerships with our customers, some of the best employees in the business and an experienced management team who understands how to navigate through the market cycles. I believe that the combination of all of these assets and attributes ensures that CBC is built to last, but my greatest source of confidence is all of you.

Adversity reveals character. At times like these we must focus on managing what we can control and reminding each other that we can make a meaningful difference. I am even more confident these days that we have a strong and improving culture and an organization comprised of “ideal team players” who are indeed “humble, hungry and smart” and have the commitment to excellence as well as to each other that will create lasting success.

I love Thanksgiving as much as any of our holidays because it truly causes us to reflect on our many blessings. Regrettably, it seems that the discourse in this country is increasingly shrill and disagreeable. Our leaders in Washington spend more time tearing each other down than focusing on working together to build opportunities for future generations. Our media is so polarizing we can’t tell the difference between facts and ‘fake news’. How unfortunate to be so divisive when our country’s greatest strength derives from its diversity and granting of individual freedom. Despite this daily barrage of negativity, we should not forget that the United States remains the greatest country in the world and how blessed we are to be Americans. I personally try to filter out the noise, stay focused on making things better for the people and institutions that I love and to maintain an attitude of gratitude in my daily life. Remaining grateful and focused on improvement seems to make everything at least a little bit better.

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

My wish for all of you is that you and your family enjoy good health, safety, security and each other. Thank you again for everything and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Stay S.A.F.E. !!

Merritt

Thursday, April 20, 2017

CityBusiness Lists CBC as #8 in Annual “Top 100 Private Companies”

New Orleans CityBusiness listed Canal Barge Company as #8 in its annual ‘Top 100 Private Companies’ in the New Orleans area (based on revenue) and #1 in the Trade and Transportation sector. Canal Barge has continued to move higher in this annual listing as we have grown our operations over the years. Canal Barge is pleased to receive this external recognition, which we believe is an outgrowth of our long-term vision, consistent management, and focus on our strategy. Although revenue declined approximately 5% from 2015 to 2016, President & CEO Merritt Lane attributed our stability in large part to diversification, allowing CBC to weather the slowdown of the oil market. We also grew our employee base

The Special Focus article is featured in the March 17-30, 2017 issue of CityBusiness.