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Lew Russell, Sr. formed a working agreement between Consolidated Freightlines and Shaver Transportation called Shaver Forwarding Company. The Company was incorporated in 1933 and moved wheat, diesel, new cars, canned foods, soap and beer on the Columbia River.


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Kirk Thompson, owner of Tidewater Transportation Company, sold his upper Columbia River company to Shaver Forwarding Company. The new company was Tidewater Shaver Barge Lines.


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After Lew Russell, Sr. suffered his third heart attack, his son, Lew Russell, Jr., a towboat Captain and owner of Russell Towboat & Moorage Company, took the helm as GM of Tidewater Shaver Barge Lines. Soon after, Homer Shaver resigned to devote more time to Shaver Transportation. The Russell family were majority owners and changed the name to Tidewater Barge Lines.


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Ray Hickey joined Tidewater as a deck hand in 1951. He worked his way up to operations manager in 1967, overseeing ocean and river operations. In 1977, Ray Hickey became Tidewater president.



Tidewater purchased both Knappton and Columbia Marine Lines' assets in 1984 and 1987, adding the boats Rebel and Challenger to the fleet, plus thirty grain barges and several general-use barges.


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From 1974 to 1995, Tidewater added tugboats Captain Bob, Defiance, Invader, Outlaw, Maverick, Tidewater, Sundial, The Chief, and Hurricane, as well as over twenty grain and grain/petroleum combo barges. New container, deck and petroleum barges were also added the barge fleet.



Tidewater's Snake River Terminal was rebuilt in 1995, with a new automated truck rack, additional petroleum storage and upgraded pump and piping systems. Tidewater Terminal Company was first established in the early 1950s. Terminals at Vancouver, WA; Umatilla, OR; Pasco, WA; Boardman, OR; and Clarkston, WA were constructed to receive and deliver products and cargo to and from barges.


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Tidewater is the largest inland tug and barge company west of the Mississippi. Ray Hickey sells the company to an East Coast investment Group and his son, Wes, is president until 1999. During that time, the Tri-Cities Voyager was built.


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In 2005, members of Tidewater's management team, in partnership with equity investor Endeavor Capital, bought Tidewater. During the period of 2005-2008, four new double-hulled petroleum barges were rebuilt: New Dawn, New Endeavor, New Vision, and New Frontier. In 2008, Tidewater purchased Foss Maritime's upriver assets.


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In July 2014, Tidewater Environmental Service, Inc. acquired the assets of West Coast Marine Cleaning, Inc., a Vancouver-based marine and industrial cleaning services company.


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The Crown Point was built by Vigor Fab in Portland, OR, and delivered to Tidewater in April, 2015 (christened: June 27, 2015). The second new tug, Granite Point, was delivered in December 2015, and the final tug of the Point Class series, Ryan Point, was delivered in June 2016. The Granite Point and Ryan Point were christened on June 11, 2016.


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In September 2017, Tidewater acquired Canada-based Island Tug and Barge ( and ITB Subsea ( Island Tug is the West Coast's largest bulk transporter of refined petroleum products, and ITB Subsea ranks a one of the premier submarine cable layers in Canada.


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In January 2019, Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners acquired Tidewater Transportation and Terminals from Stonepeak. Tidewater launches a state-of-the-art, 24-hour ethanol unit train railcar unloading rack at their Snake River Terminal. Two new 65,000 barrel steel tanks were constructed to provide reliable operating storage in August 2019.



Tidewater Environmental Services expands its service portfolio to operate as a comprehensive environmental solutions provider: hazardous & non-hazardous waste disposal and transportation, industrial cleaning, catch basin & storm drains, roll-off & drop box, boom deployment and containment, crew assist ship hold and vessel cleaning.



Tidewater added a new bio-blending system to its Umatilla, Oregon Terminal. The system includes two 40,000 gallon storage tanks, off-loading and blending pumps, and over 700 feet of heat traced piping and controls. This project puts our customers and Tidewater in a much better position to meet the growing demand for blending B-99. 


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The names "Island Tug and Barge", "ITB Subsea", and "ITB Marine Group" were retired and, as such, Island Tug and Barge formally became "Tidewater Transportation Canada, Inc." and ITB Subsea became "Tidewater Subsea Ltd." 


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Tidewater Canada expanded its fleet with the addition of two new tugs, TWC Artemis and TWC Endurance. These state-of-the-art vessels are equipped to enhance Tidewater Canada's capabilities in providing efficient and reliable maritime support services.

The commencement of service for Tidewater Barge Lines' new container barge, Barge 35, represented a major milestone in advancing the efficiency and capacity of TBL's container business and the M-84 marine highway.



Tidewater undergoes a change in ownership, with Ullico Inc. acquiring a controlling interest in the company. This acquisition reflects Ullico's commitment to diversification and positions Tidewater to capitalize on the growth opportunities within the maritime industry.

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