April 29 - Barnhart Crane & Rigging has launched its new barge service - River Train - which it says will facilitate the movement of project cargoes, weighing 150 tonnes and over, along any of the navigable US river systems.
John Mickler, national logistics development manager at Barnhart, explained that the new service is the product of a partnership not limited to one specific barge company, but rather to a number of experienced operators.
"The River Train has a regular service, with several departures going north and south," said Mickler. "We compare it to Fedex on the waterways, in that we can get it there when you need it to fit your schedule and your needs. Standard delivery, express or premium."
An extensive fleet of hopper and deck barges, including four owned by Barnhart itself, can transport project cargoes from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, for example, he added.
Although Barnhart is experienced in all transport modes, Mickler explained that some of the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and limitations in different US states can often make transport via inland waterways an easier option than delivery by road.
Barnhart's extensive infrastructure across the USA means that customers can also benefit from the breadth of the company's services, including its fleet of cranes. "When you use a hopper barge, you need to be able to lift the cargo in and out," said Mickler. "If you are at a port, this is not a problem, with a ship's gear and quayside cranes."
However, explained Mickler, destinations along the river do not tend to have such equipment in place. Since Barnhart has facilities along many US rivers, on the Gulf Coast, in Houston and in Chicago, the company can often handle the project cargo at the destination using its own lifting and transport equipment, which is an obvious benefit for its customers.
"Both rail and road have their limitations, and when project cargoes get bigger and heavier, inland waterways can provide a solution," Mickler added.