BARGE PROJECTS SINKS

Barge SinkingThe M580 “green” marine highway is dead, and it never stood a chance. It was neither operationally practical, environmentally beneficial nor economically sustainable. It was a shameful waste of taxpayer dollars that was forced upon the region by naive, close-minded and politically motivated bureaucrats within DOT and MarAd. Every industry insider knew it to be a white elephant, yet red flags were ignored by environmental do-gooders. Two legitimate barge operators, The Broe Group (in conjunction with Eco-Transport) and Savage Services, took a close look at its potential, and both flatly deemed it unworkable. Yet, the Port of Stockton, who had no experience in barge or container operations, forged ahead on its own…did they really think the project was viable? Or was it simply a money-grab? Since the feds were pushing TIGER funds so aggressively, maybe Stockton was the crafty one in this whole debacle, leaching two new mobile cranes and infrastructure improvements out of the feds.

THE GREEN HIGHWAY IS IN THE RED

Barge 007In the middle of last month, there was talk about exploring the option of loading refrigerated containers onto the barge serving containerized traffic between the Port of Oakland and the Port of Stockton (aka, the Marine Highway, the Green Highway, M-580).

Then a week later, the Port of Stockton revealed they are bleeding money, $6M thus far, on this “demonstration” project and are looking to transfer management and financial responsibility to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

MSC has been a regular user of the service, but the verdict is still out on whether or not they are willing to take on the burden of operations and costs.

STOCKTON BARGE

Google Barge 002

We are not talking about the container on barge service between the ports of Oakland and Stockton. We are talking about the mystery barge owned by Google. For months, there has been speculation surrounding what Google is doing on the barge docked at Treasure Island. What four-story structure are they building behind the screen? Is it a floating data center? Is is top-secret R&D facility? Google announced recently they are “exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” Don’t really know what that means, but it stopped the questions.

The latest update has Google moving the barge to the Port of Stockton. According to the Treasure Island Development Authority, the barge will be making a move “as early as next week.”

The mystery continues….

Barge Dedication

This past Friday the Port of Stockton hosted the dedication ceremony for the M580 Project, also known as the container on barge service between the ports of Stockton and Oakland.  Approximately 200 officials and guests attended the ceremony and learned the barge is operating at 50% of capacity.