The Shaw Group Inc. is working to pry loose and draw in a large portion of the nation’s dredging fleet―potentially seven cutterheads, five large hoppers and a dozen scows―for the emergency delivery of roughly 45 miles of permitted projects (of 128 miles sought) of barrier berm on the Louisiana coast... that state officials hope will protect inland marshes from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The problem is, a lot of the equipment already is occupied elsewhere. Photo: Courtesy of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. Big dredges operate with their own fleets of as many as 30 support vessels
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.