Seattle, Wash., based Centerline Logistics, one of the largest marine petroleum transportation companies in the U.S., has acquired “several” former Bouchard Transportation articulated tug and barge (ATB) units. It says the acquisition significantly strengthens its ability to transport liquid petroleum product across an operating area that includes the East, Gulf, and West Coasts, including Hawaii and Alaska.
One of the recently acquired former Bouchard ATB units is the recently renamed Robin Marie and Joni Lee (built in 2016), which will become Centerline’s largest and most advanced ATB unit, measuring 718 feet long, with a 91-foot beam and 47 feet of draft. Comparable in size to a tanker, the unit has the capacity to hold 260,000 barrels of various petroleum products.
“This broader acquisition reflects Centerline’s strong commitment to being a best-in-class national provider of safe marine petroleum transportation services. With the added vessels’ carrying capacity, operating capabilities, and safety systems we have greatly enhanced our ability to quickly and efficiently serve our growing markets,” said Matt Godden, president and CEO of Centerline Logistics.
An ATB combines the benefits of traditional towing methods and that of a small tanker. With an articulated unit, the stern of the barge is built with a specially designed notch so that a bow of a tugboat can easily fit in place with a connection system, notes Centerline. The combined unit provides better maneuverability and steering capabilities while allowing safer and more efficient transportation. Compared to a traditional towed barge, an ATB offers significant safety benefits and speed capabilities.
Centerline says the addition of this newly acquired ATB fleet, along with dozens of new employees, reflects its latest effort to enhance its position as a premier provider of marine petroleum transportation. In December 2020, the company announced the acquisition of Saltchuk Marine Services’ California ship refueling business, substantially growing Centerline’s existing California bunkering operations through the addition of six bunker barges and established customer contracts.