With new company Eckstein Fleeting Services, Kasey Eckstein is taking over the barge fleeting management of Redfish Bay Terminal in the greater Corpus Christi area.
Located at Mile 535.5 on the West Canal in Aransas Pass, Texas, the location offers 2,500 feet of bulkhead for fleeting both liquid and dry cargo barges. Eckstein Fleeting Services, doing business as Redfish Bay Fleet, offers crew changes, grocery delivery, water and trash disposal as the first location of what Eckstein hopes will be many.
It can also provide warehousing or outdoor storage at a nearby property for dry cargo and shore-tank or floating storage for liquids. Loading and unloading services are also available for liquid cargo barges for the shore tanks on site. Through its partners, Eckstein Fleeting also offers trucking in and out of the Corpus Christi area.
“This location as well as all future locations will be focused on creating the best experiences possible for captains and crews of the vessels,” Eckstein said.
The location isn’t unknown to the industry. A previous fleeting tenant, offering only dry cargo services, moved out in December. Eckstein said she is glad to expand into liquids at the site.
Additionally, she said, crews will find it accessible and convenient, with water depths up to 18 feet in parts of the fleeting area.
“There are no concerns with red flag barges going in and out of that fleeting location,” she said.
Eckstein founded Eckstein Trade & Transport in 2022, offering marine brokerage, consulting and recruiting services. She is also the founder and executive director of Women in Maritime Operations (WIMOs), which seeks to educate, engage and elevate women within the industry. The new business fits neatly with Eckstein’s other roles, she said.
“This is part of a bigger mission to help the industry retain crew,” she said. “We need to make the crewing experience the best we can in this industry because crewing is such an issue.”
Eckstein is working with Redfish Bay Terminal to create new business at the site. As it has 325,000 barrels of shore tank storage, and some of the tanks are available for lease, Eckstein said she plans to offer fuel sales there eventually as well.
“We want to offer any and all ancillary services that are associated with fleets to create more conveniences for the dispatch departments as well as comforts for the crews,” she said.
Eckstein Fleeting Services went into operation on May 8. Eckstein said she has already completed tours for most of the major barge lines in the industry.
“We want to know all the service offerings the barge lines would find beneficial so that we can offer as many as possible,” she said. “We need to know what is wanted and needed so we can find a way to make that happen.”
Eckstein said she also wants her new business to build upon the legacy of her late uncle, Randy Eckstein, the owner and founder of Eckstein Marine Services.
“He cared so much about his captains and crews, who operated heavily on the West Canal, which is where this fleet is located,” she said.
While working to establish the business, Eckstein said she has run into numerous people who knew and loved him.
“The captains I meet who used to work for Eckstein Marine Services always say, ‘Your Uncle Randy genuinely cared about us. He always remembered my name,’” Eckstein said. “I want that to be my dedication to him. I’m going to keep doing that in his memory, making sure these captains and crews know they’re appreciated and cared for.”
Caption for photo: Eckstein Fleeting Services, doing business as Redfish Bay Fleet, has taken over the barge fleeting management of Redfish Bay Terminal in Aransas Pass, Texas. The new company, founded by industry veteran Kasey Eckstein, is offering multiple services at the site, including crew changes, grocery delivery, water and trash disposal. (Photo courtesy of Eckstein Fleeting Services)