Now that spring is spreading over North America, the ice and snow of last winter is becoming a distant, if not fond, memory. But in northern Wisconsin, a record year of cold can make the difference between letting Mother Nature break the ice in the deepwater Port of Green Bay, Wis., or requesting a Coast Guard ice-breaking ship.

“We can request Coast Guard icebreaker assistance to get us open this year, and this is driven by economic need,” reports Dean Haen, director of the Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Department, which oversees operations at the Port of Green Bay. 

Being a bluewater company means Bordelon Marine not only can resupply offshore oil and natural gas rigs, but also set up tension leg platforms or drilling platforms before the rig is built and provide services underwater with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). “That’s a different set of requirements for the vessel,” President and CEO Wes Bordelon points out.

“When you’re doing dive work that’s project-based, you have divers and they dive from your vessel, and they do a variety of things – make repairs, do inspections, that kind of thing,” Bordelon adds. “When you’re doing survey work, you’re working with a geophysical company. They’re looking for oil, mapping the bottom of the ocean or looking into the substrate and trying to find oil. Your vessel is supporting vessels that do this type of work.”

Multipurpose ships can handle a variety of cargo, such as large industrial components for oil rigs, as well as rolling stock and building materials for construction purposes which may not traditionally fit into shipping containers. It is this versatility that Thorco Shipping considers its niche – being able to load from bulk and bagged commodities to large turbines, wind power and heavy lift equipment, and even containers. 

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) was established more than 60 years ago, but the Port of Virginia has a long, storied history that dates back more than four centuries. Today, the Port of Virginia is a maritime hub that is among the leading maritime gateways on Earth.

Ever since the Virginia Port Authority was established as an autonomous agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1952, it has focused on developing, improving or increasing the commerce of the ports of the commonwealth. In 1981, the commonwealth created Virginia International Terminals Inc., a non-stock, nonprofit affiliate of the Virginia Port Authority. Virginia International Terminals was created to operate the Port of Virginia, however the operation has been restructured and everything now falls under the VPA flag.

The Port of Palm Beach is working to secure revenue to fund capital improvements to maintain and expand its facility. The nearly 100-year-old port, based in Riviera Beach, Fla., is renovating its sheet piles to keep the berth at bay while looking to update infrastructure and add markets.

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