Higman's roots go back to 1917 when an Orange, Texas pharmacist, J. W. Higman, and a partner Louis Smaihall, formed Higman Towing Company to move logs on the Sabine River to an Orange lumber mill, and water to various Louisiana locations. The firm started with two small tugs and three barges. As the demand for the movement of crude oil and petroleum products grew, that of logs and water waned, and the company shifted its focus accordingly.
In 1953, Higman bought 3 boats and 10 barges, the entire marine fleet of the former Pan American Refining Company. Throughout the 1960's - 1990's Higman continuously kept modernizing its fleet, adding new boats and barges. In 1997, Higman acquired Maryland Marine Inc., which expanded the fleet by 40 percent. In recent years, the firm has continued building boats and barges, increasing both horsepower and barge capacity.
In 1992, Higman celebrated its 75th year by christening the industry's first crude oil tows fully constructed to comply with all requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. In 1997, Higman acquired Maryland Marine, Inc. Higman has continued to expand its fleet of pushboats and double hull tank barges and today, 100% of Higman's barge fleet is comprised of double hull tank barges equipped with vapor control and pollution systems to meet all the mandates of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Clean Air Act of 1970. Higman is proud to have one of the youngest and most modern fleets of pushboats and tank barges in the industry.
The Company's two operating subsidiaries - Higman Barge Lines and Higman Service Corporation - are engaged in the inland transportation of refined petroleum products, crude oil, condensates, black oil products, chemicals and petrochemicals by tank barges. The Company is strictly a provider of transportation services for its customers and does not assume ownership of any of the products that it transports. All of the Company's vessels are U.S. flagged.
The United States inland tank barge industry is a diverse and independent mixture of integrated transportation companies, small operators and captive fleets owned by U.S. oil, refining and petrochemical companies.
|The inland tank barge industry provides marine transportation of bulk liquid cargoes along the U.S. inland waterway system. Since WWII especially, the United States has expanded and improved on its inland commercial waterway system and today it is one of the world's busiest and most efficient waterway systems. Among the most significant segments of this industry are the transporters of refined petroleum products, crude oil, black oil products, chemicals and petrochemicals. The Company principally operates on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River System including the Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Black Warrior Rivers and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.|