For petrochemical industry leaders like Exxon Mobil Corp., Shintech Inc. and The Dow Chemical Co., a recently launched SEACOR AMH LLC container-on-barge service is providing an efficient means to get resin products to port for global shipping.
Relying upon the Mississippi River as an alternative to highways, the weekly shuttle service offers resin producers an intermodal supply chain link that allows more resin to be moved per container while averting roadway bottlenecks.
“It’s a growing business that wasn’t there 10 years ago,” said Richard Teubner, vice president of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based SEACOR AMH LLC, which barges empty containers from Memphis to Baton Rouge, where they are stuffed with locally produced resin, and then barges the boxes farther down the Mississippi to the Port of New Orleans.
“The projections are pretty high,” Teubner added, noting that 1,500 loads moved on the service from its initiation in June through early September. “We are extremely excited about the level of interest so far.”
From end to end, the endeavor covers more than 600 miles of the Mississippi River, starting with the collection of empty containers at SEACOR AMH’s 70-acre riverfront terminal just north of the International Port of Memphis.
Traditionally, such empties – import containers that had moved into Middle America by truck or rail – would likely have headed to New York or other East Coast port areas for stuffing for export, according to Teubner.
But the empty boxes accrued in Memphis by SEACOR AMH have a different fate. They are barged more than 500 miles from Memphis, at Mile Marker 737 on the Mississippi, south to the Inland Rivers Marine Terminal of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, in Port Allen, Louisiana, on a slackwater canal off the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near the river’s Mile Marker 228.
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