FOSS SELLS 2 TUGS, 20 BARGES TO TIDEWATER
US-based Foss Maritime Company says it is to sell ?selected assets?, including two tugs and twenty barges currently operating on the Columbia Snake River system, to Vancouver, Washington state-based Tidewater Barge Lines.
A statement from Foss says: ?Foss made the decision to sell selected assets in order to focus its efforts and investment in its strategic lines of business including ship assist, ocean towing and special projects. Foss will maintain its Portland based division and will no longer provide river barging of grain, wood products and containers.?
The company's senior vice president of operations, Scott Merritt, says adds that the sale will help it maintain its strategic focus and standards of quality, said, citing the need for additional vessels and upgrades on its existing upriver tugs as contributing to the sale"s timing. ?The most important thing for Foss is to ensure that we provide our customers with the highest quality service,? said Mr Merritt. ?In order to do that with our upriver lines of business, we would need to make significant investments in new equipment. Unfortunately, in this competitive market, we were not likely to be able to recoup that investment.?
Foss will complete any jobs that are in-process at the time of sale"s close through a charter arrangement. ?We have enjoyed close working relationships with our upriver customers and will miss being a part of their success. However, we feel confident they will continue to find the services they require on the river. One of the most important criteria to us was selling the equipment to an operator that was interested in continuing to provide the services our customers need,? said Gary Faber, President and COO of Foss Maritime.