American Waterways Operators (AWO)
The Great Lakes Group and its affiliated companies are members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing owners and operators of tugboats, towboats, and barges serving the waterborne commerce of the United States. AWO’s mission is to promote the long term economic soundness of the industry and to enhance the industry’s ability to provide safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation through advocacy, public information, and the establishment of safety standards. All operating Companies of the Group are participants in the industry-initiated Responsible Carrier Program (RCP). RCP is designed as a framework for continuously improving the industry’s safety performance. AWO members use the RCP as a guide in developing company-specific safety and environmental programs that are tailored to the unique operational environments found in the towing and barge industry. The program complements and builds upon existing government regulations, requiring company safety standards that exceed those required by federal law or regulation.
American Bureau of Shipping & Lloyd’s Register
We hold American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Lloyd’s Register as some of the highest standards in the industry, and we carry out our trades to these classifications. All work performed by our Shipyard personnel is conducted in accordance with the criteria set forth by ABS or Lloyd’s rules. We maintain an on-site satellite office for surveyors from the local ABS division and visiting Lloyd’s Register Group and utilize their resources along with the ABS and Lloyd’s Rules as the primary quality assurance benchmarks for the scope of supply and services required. Some of our executives are members of ABS and the Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers, and Great Lakes Shipyard employs only ABS certified welders. The Company’s Quality Assurance Team is directly responsible for the oversight of all inspections, testing, and trials; and the Quality Assurance Program makes certain that the quality of the Company’s workmanship meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in ABS and Lloyd’s Specifications.
Masters, Mates, and Pilots & Seafarer’s International Union
We are the largest employer of Tugmen on the Great Lakes. Our licensed Captains and licensed Engineers are affiliated with the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MMP), Great Lakes and Rivers Maritime Region, AFL-CIO. Our Deckhands and Acting Engineers are affiliated with the Seafarers International Union (SIU) of North America, Atlantic, Gulf, Lakes, and Inland Waters District/NMU, AFL-CIO.
United States Coast Guard
As the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency, the United States Coast Guard is the highest standard in the industry. The Company works closely with the USCG to ensure safety and efficiency throughout all facets of our business. The Towing Company works hand-in-hand with the Coast Guard to maintain is record of on time, safe, and environmentally sound operations. We collaborate with the Coast Guard in transitioning to towing vessel inspection which includes participation in the Towing Vessel Bridging Program and Voluntary Inspections of our fleet above and beyond USCG requirements. The Shipyard sets USCG federal regulation as the primary benchmarks for repair and new construction projects. The Quality Assurance Team works directly with the USCG throughout all repair and new construction processes, and the Quality Assurance Program ensures that the Company’s workmanship meets or exceeds the requirements established by USCG regulation.
Highway H2O offers shippers direct access to the commercial, industrial and agricultural heartland of North America. They are a reliable and cost-competitive gateway that drives sustainable infrastructure advancement.