The Great Lakes Group


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 barge and towing industry. The program complements and builds upon existing government regulations, requiring company safety standards that exceed those required by federal law or regulation.

The RCP incorporates best industry practices in three primary areas, including company management policies, vessel equipment and human factors.  This comprehensive program requires companies to obtain a third party audit by an AWO-certified auditor to verify compliance.  The program has been lauded by many groups, including the U.S. Coast Guard and shipper organizations.