BROWNSVILLE, PA- On August 2, 2023, Inland Rivers, Ports, and Terminals Executive Director, Aimee Andres took a tour of Heartland Fabrication’s facilities. Aimee describes the day as “a dream come true” as she was invited to launch her very first barge. Throughout the day, it was evident that Heartland Companies had a passion to serve.
Heartland Fabrication, located in Brownsville, PA, is 1 of only 2 barge manufacturers in the United States. At a glance, this may seem like a limit to our barge supply; but further research will yield that Heartland is dedicated to replenishing the supply of barges faster than they can retire. The current administration has placed doubt on the capacity to transport goods on the Inland Rivers because of the barge supply, but Heartland is here to reassure their woes.
When asked, Aimee said the most impressive part of her day was the facility and the pride that Heartland takes to manage it. From their top-tier security checkpoints, to the safety regulations that are strictly enforced, it is clear that this is a first-class facility. Aimee learned about the safety regulations the hard way. She showed up adorning her typical heels to learn that no, you cannot launch a barge in ‘stiletto’s’. Thankfully, the wonderful team at Heartland ensured her safety with a fresh pair of boots.
Here are two words that Aimee would use to describe her trip:
- Hope: noun, a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Aimee says that the feeling of hope was all around her. Being with such an energized crew gave her hope that our nation's supply of grain, coal, aggregate, and so much more was going to get its place on our river due to the work of the great team at Heartland. She was hopeful that the barge she got to launch would be used to put food in the mouths of many while also making her commute on the nation’s highways safer.
- Synergy: noun, the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. Synergy is present and outstanding amongst the leadership, employees, stakeholders, and citizens of Brownsville, PA at Heartland. Not only was there an overwhelming amount of support for the work that Heartland was doing, but the cooperative effort of leadership and employees was incredible. Heartland had over 200 workers on site and not one went by without CEO Brian Mueller saying hello to them by name.
IRPT is excited for this new membership and chance to serve Heartland Companies. The service that they will bring to IRPT Members and our nation is outstanding and deserving of recognition. Their company's vision for sustainability and investment gives hope to all that our nation will succeed in putting more tonnage on our inland river systems.
Learn more about Heartland Companies here.