ARTCO to establish Towing Safety Management System

APRIL 23, 2013—Safety Management Systems LLC, Portland, ME, recently inked an agreement with American River Transportation Company (ARTCO) to to establish a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) for the company in accordance with pending U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Subchapter M regulations. ARTCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), is one of the largest U.S. inland shipping companies, operating a fleet of more than 2,000 barges and upwards of 80 towing vessels on the Mississippi, Illinois and Western Rivers.

The contract between ARTCO and SMSLLC was announced during the Annual Meeting of the American Waterways Operators, an organization of river and inland tug and barge operators who have helped drive the development of Subchapter M over the past several years. Speaking on the occasion, ARTCO President Royce Wilken said, “The development of new regulations for TSMS is an important step forward for the USCG and the entire brown water shipping industry.

"By working with SMSLLC," added Wilken, "we will establish an industry-leading management system that will not only ensure our compliance with the new regulations, but also steer improvements in the safety of our fleet and our industry.”

His comments were echoed by Bill Mahoney, Director of SMSLLC, who said, “When the ISM Code became mandatory for certain operators in 1998, we saw firsthand how challenging it would be for owners to establish effective safety management systems on their own. With this project we will bring our extensive experience in leading both small and large vessel operators in both the shallow and deep draft sectors to bear by developing a solution that is uniquely tailored to ARTCO’s requirements and expectations. We are honored to be working with ARTCO and excited to be leading a project that will set a new standard for the inland tug and barge industry.”

SMSLLC was recently acquired by ClassNK, the world’s largest ship classification society and leading provider of maritime safety certification worldwide. ClassNK is committed to growth in the U.S. domestic maritime sector and views the acquisition as a key component to expand its role in the area of regulatory compliance and consulting services.

According to Mahoney, ClassNK’s backing played an essential role in SMSLLC’s expansion into the inland market: “Thanks to the support of ClassNK, we are expanding our services, and are prepared to offer our expertise to towing vessel owners and operators. Our contract with ARTCO is a significant step forward for SMSLLC and ClassNK as we work to find solutions to better support this essential part of the U.S. maritime industry.”