DredgeWire Associate Publisher Heiko Osterchrist Interviews Callan Marine’s President Maxie McGuire

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Maxie McGuire

Posted February 10, 2020

Originally Posted On 1/21/2020

DredgeWire Associate Publisher Heiko Osterchrist sat down with Callan Marine’s President, Maxie McGuire during the WEDA Gulf Coast Chapter Conference in Galveston, TX. for an in-depth exclusive interview.

Heiko Osterchrist sat down with Callan Marine’s President, Maxie McGuire during the WEDA Gulf Coast Chapter Conference in Galveston, Tx. for an in-depth exclusive interview.

DredgeWire: Maxie could you provide us with a brief summary of Callan Marine and yourself.

Maxie/Callan: Callan Marine is a Galveston, Texas based civil and marine contractor that started in 2009. The company began with only one dredge, which provided dredging services to the Houston/Galveston area and continued to grow. When I left the Air Force, I went to work for the USACE and got exposed to dredging sector. In 1997, I left to go into private dredging with the Bean Companiesfor about 8-9 years. Eventually, I ended up with my own marine construction business, which I sold in 2013. At thattime, I was introduced to the owners of Callan Marine, who owned one dredge (General Eisenhower) and shared their vision for growing the business. I joined the company in 2013,and since then we have built a second dredge (General Patton), purchased a third dredge (General Pershing), and built our fourth dredge, the General MacArthur. Since 2013, Callan has grown significantly through continued investments into new and existing equipment, construction of new high production dredges,and support equipment.

Callan's newest CSD The General MacArthur-courtesy of Callan Marine Ltd

DredgeWire: What sets Callan Marine apart from other competitors?

Maxie/Callan: Historically Callan had focused on the middle market, which was a niche-underserved market along the Gulf Coast. Our advantage has been that this area is home, we have a large client base, and have developed a niche, quality offering. In many cases, this market is too small for the large dredgers and has barriers for smaller companies, which create a nice opportunity that require deep draft dredging (up to 50’), long pipelines, and a great safety record.

DredgeWire: What industry trends do you see and what is the impact on your business?

Maxie/Callan: This industry is very unique and the processes are complex. The barriers to entry for the smaller work are not that high, but having the infrastructure to support the work is a key to sustained success. However, the large market is an entirely different story; there are limited large market companies and significantly higher barriers to entry due to cost, time to build, and ability to withstand the up and down times in the market. Callan is fortunate to be able to occupy both spaces and be successful.

Our economy is doing very well, with record investments, which has created a very busy dredging industry. A key to success is to increase the utilization of the existing equipment, through better timing of contracts hitting the street; we can reduce the idle time of many dredges. If owners can figure out how to reduce idle time, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Dredge Wire: How are you using technology differently today than you did previously?

Maxie/Callan: On our newest 32” (800mm) dredge vessel, the General MacArthur, employs a completely diesel electric system, so we are getting a tremendous increase in operating efficiency.In addition to the General MacArthur, our entire fleet has automation and production management systems to optimize production processes, which helps us be a very competitive unit rate contractor.

Callan's newest CSD The General MacArthur-courtesy of Callan Marine Ltd

DredgeWire: Did the 2017 tax reform effect your business and if so how and do you have any future investments planned?


I am sure this helps many companies, and, while not a deciding factor for us, it certainly helps.

DredgeWire: What are your biggest challenges?

Maxie/Callan: The hardest thing in a busy industry with limited equipment is balancing the workload, which I think we do well, but, in these times, it is very key to keep customers informed in order to best manage their needs with the availability of equipment.

We also are always seeking ways to make improvements and work with our board to make sure we provide the best benefits and work environment that will attract and retain our talent. We are also reaching out to Universities, offering internships and employment opportunities. In this competitive job market, we strive to attract talent and continue to build an attractive culture.

DredgeWire: What achievements has your company accomplished that you are most proud of?

Maxie/Callan: We are most proud that we have not had any lost time incidents in almost 7 years. Building long-term employees through good culture, safety programs, offering good benefits and treating our team members well, are what we continually strive for.

DredgeWire: Anything else you would like to comment on?

Maxi/Callan: I feel fortunate to be part of a young dynamic company with great team members and dynamic supportive owners. We are building a great company that is going to last many generations and be part of supporting the infrastructure of America.

Tags: Callan Marine, General MacArthur, Maxie McGuire, USACE, Liz Rogers, WEDA, DredgeWire