By Mark Edward Nero
Alaska-based Inland Barge Service, a small family owned and operated barge service that has been serving the Yukon River since 1994, has been bought out by another Alaska-based service, Ruby Marine, the companies revealed in late May.
The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.
Ruby Marine is expected to continue offering the same freight packaging and shipping services to customers that Inland Barge did. And while the companies have had a freight-sharing arrangement since Ruby Marine was launched in 2007, the financial implications of passing freight to someone else are now removed, according to Ruby Marine.
“There will be more flexibility now. I don’t have to worry about every ounce I am putting on my deck to pay my crew to satisfy my bills,” former Inland Barge owner Charley Hnilicka told Alaska Public Media regarding the sale. “Now everything is being pooled, so it will make it a lot easier to divvy up the freight.”
Inland Barge has already shut down its offices and merged them with those at the Ruby Marine location. Both facilities had been located in the central Alaska town of Nenana.