When Dennis Pasentine founded Florida Marine Transporters, he did so with a commitment to four major core values: safety, environment, quality and training. From those four principles, Florida Marine Transporters has grown into one of the largest inland marine companies in the country. 

The company works as far north as Minneapolis and south to Corpus Christi, Texas. Its customers have taken it east to Pittsburgh and west to Catoosa, Okla. The company services 17 inland rivers throughout the Southeast and Midwest, transporting cargo such as petrochemicals, chemicals, LPG, crude oil, agricultural liquids and dry cargo, including coal, aggregate, ore and coke. It services its customers with a diverse barge fleet able to meet a variety of needs. 

Seaport Intermodal does not shy away from a challenge. “We are a very dynamic and open-minded team, and that very much sets us apart,” says Alex Cardin, vice president of operations for the Brampton, Ontario-headquartered intermodal transportation provider. “When a customer calls and asks us to do something, we don’t say `no’ just because it’s something we haven’t handled before – we explore it and see if it’s something new we can do.”

One opportunity to expand the company’s horizons came in 2012, when CSX Corp. approached it to take containers from its rail terminal in Buffalo, N.Y., across the border to Toronto, which CSX had previously not been able to do because of network limitations. 

“This was a non-existent service that had to be developed from the ground up – CSX didn’t have a team to guide them with border crossing procedures,” Seaport President Andre Earl notes. “They approached us, realized there was an opportunity for a trucking carrier to complete the last leg of their supply chain, and we were open-minded about the idea.”

It’s a rule of thumb on land and it’s equally important on water – one of the most important aspects to the success of any business is location, location, location.  LEEVAC Shipyards LLC is an operator of full-service shipyards in the United States. With its own in-house design team, the shipbuilder draws on its state-of-the-art facilities, the latest technology, steel fabrication capabilities and highly skilled craftsmen to design, fabricate and repair clients’ vessels. 

But with all of its skills and resources, Vice President of Business Development and Engineering Dan Gaiennie explains that without the right location, none of those things really matter. “A lot of our success comes down to having the right place at the right time, and having the right size of dry-docks,” Gaiennie says. 

Even though it doesn’t rank as one of the state’s largest, Port of Valdez nevertheless holds a position as one of Alaska’s most important ports. As the nation’s most northerly ice-free port, Port of Valdez has the responsibility of handling cargo for most of the interior of Alaska, including equipment for the oil industry and the military. Port and Harbor Director Diane Kinney has been with the port for 17 years, and says the Port of Valdez has carved out a comfortable niche for itself thanks to its location and ability to handle cargo that other Alaskan ports are unable to. 

The Port of Valdez consists of a container terminal, a grain terminal, the John Thomas Kelsey Municipal Dock and the Valdez Pioneer Field Airport Terminal. When the container terminal was constructed in the early ’80s, it was advertised as having the world’s largest floating general cargo dock. In addition, during this time Valdez applied for, and received, the first foreign-trade zone designation in Alaska. Although the zone has not been used, the port is always looking for businesses that could profit by operating in a foreign-trade zone. 

Located at the popular summer tourist hot spot of Lake George at the southeast base of the Adirondack Mountains in New York, the Lake George Steamboat Co. thrives on offering steamboat tours.

Lake George Steamboat Co. operates three ships in its fleet: the Lac du Saint Sacrement, Minne-Ha-Ha and the Mohican. The company offers many different kinds of cruises including island explorations, moonlight cruises, pasta cruises and pizza cruises. There are also Tuesday Taco Cruises and New Years tours. 

The Minne-Ha-Ha, which means “laughing waters,” is an authentic paddlewheeler, while the Lac du Saint Sacrement is the largest cruise ship on Lake George. The ships host weddings, charters, parties, sports teams, clubs, churches, camps and student special events such as proms, and can include dinners and DJs. Conventions and private parties for birthdays, anniversaries and retirements are also popular occasions for charters, the company says. 

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