CHAIRMAN ’ S MESSAGE
FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE
In 2022 , the tugboat , towboat and barge industry continued to serve our country as a steadying supply chain presence and impactful economic force against a backdrop of global conflict , high inflation and unpredictable energy costs . Through it all , the people of our industry drew on their trademark skill , dedication and resilience to keep commerce moving safely , efficiently and sustainably on our nation ’ s inland rivers , coastal waters and Great Lakes .
For me , the past year underscored that a central reason for our industry ’ s enduring value and resilience in the face of so many challenges is that we ’ re built on ideas , commitments and aspirations that endure over time , and yet we adapt to pursue them with renewed energy and creativity as times change .
In that spirit , we came together as AWO members and industry colleagues to grapple with serious challenges that will require ongoing focus , critical thinking , and constant innovation – the labor shortage ; the global drive toward decarbonization ; perennial attacks on the Jones Act ; supply chain disruptions like this fall ’ s low water crisis ; and more .
As we move Forward into the Future , making our collective voice heard will be paramount to shaping our own destiny and not having decisions made about us , but without us . We must continue to look forward with clear eyes and a spirit of confidence , and work proactively to move our industry forward . Waiting passively for the future to unfold and allowing events to happen to us has never been our way , and that is why we have endured and evolved as an industry and as an association .
AWO is the indispensable vehicle – our advocate , resource , and united voice – helping us navigate an unpredictable operating and public policy environment , achieve impactful policy wins , and develop shared resources that reflect our values , amplify our voices , and position us to thrive . In 2022 , AWO worked collaboratively with the Coast Guard to guide our industry to