In the past few years, the Gulf Coast has had to deal with major hurricanes as well as a hefty oil spill. But the Port of Gulfport understands it can’t be daunted by such things. Port of Gulfport is dedicated to providing world-class maritime terminal service, as well as ensuring economic growth in the state through domestic and international trade. And the growth is happening, as evidenced by the all of the construction activity, as well as the new partnerships the port is developing. 

Some firms’ senior managers keep their distance from the workers on the shop floor and field operations, but at Konecranes, the entire management team at all levels has daily interactions with these key players, Key Account Manager John Zellmer says. “They’re out in the trenches with the entire team,” he states. “They’re very approachable people.” 

With global headquarters in Hyvinkää, Finland and regional headquarters in Springfield, Ohio, Konecranes provides overhead lifting equipment and services to many industries, including mining, power, steel, general manufacturing, automotive, pulp and paper, shipyards, ports, and intermodal and rail. The company started business in 1933 as KONE Corp., a manufacturer of electric overhead traveling cranes for the pulp and paper and power industries.

From the outside looking in, shipbreaking seems like a tough, dirty business, but it’s actually one of the greenest industries around. That’s because when it comes to shipbreaking, the breaking isn’t the end-goal. Recycling is. Rather than the majority of tons upon tons of retired marine vessels ending up on the beaches of third-world countries with little or no environmental or safety regulations, companies such as ESCO Marine recycle large quantities of vessels following strict U.S. safety and environmental laws. 

Sitting on 103 acres in Brownsville, Texas, ESCO Marine is a full-service marine yard and recycling operation. The company specializes in recyclable metals and the proper disposal of obsolete maritime vessels. It employs 300 to 400 people depending on the amount of work at hand and processes about a dozen vessels a year. Depending on the size of the vessels, the company is capable of handling eight ships simultaneously. 

The roots of Floe International can be traced back to 1983, when Wayne Floe designed his first boatlift. He was 19 years old at the time and his design was revolutionary. Unlike any other boatlift on the market, his featured a roller bunk bed on a twin winch vertical lift, allowing boaters to simply drive the boat up and out of the water and then crank up the rear. It was used for a decade and remains on display at company headquarters in McGregor, Minn.

Much has changed since that time, when the company was known as United States Boat Hoist and Dock Co. and was funded with money Floe earned from logging and installing docks. One thing remains constant, however, and that is Floe’s commitment to quality design and innovation. 

“Floe always has and will stay true to delivering only innovative products and services that deliver exceptional value,” the company says.

Not many can say that their profession allows them to work with important parts of history. But Nikhil Shah, the president of All Star Metals LLC, a subsidiary of Chicago based Scrap Metal Services, can, as his company often dismantles vessels for the U.S. government. “We trade about 120,000 tons of fair scrap yearly just from our All Star Metals location,” he says.

Based in Brownsville, Texas, All Star specializes in licensed ship recycling, metal processing and environmental remediation contracting for clients that also include Chevron Corp. and Kirby Inland Marine. Shah founded All Star in 2003 and today it is one of the largest ship recyclers in North America. 

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