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Middle River Marine Christens Two New Boats

August 22, 2018

Middle River Marine (MRM), an Ozinga company, christened two boats, the Gwyneth Anne (pictured above) and the Kamryn Olivia (pictured below), at 11 a.m. on August 21 at Joliet Terminal, Terminal Ct. in Joliet, IL. This christening highlighted how the Gwyneth Anne and Kamryn Olivia will both enhance MRM, Ozinga Material and Logistics’ marine services business, and be an added celebration to the fourth-generation family-owned company’s 90th anniversary.

The Gwyneth Anne is the fleet’s fifth boat, introduced in June 2017. The boat is 65 feet long by 28 feet wide by 9 feet deep. It has 1,325 horsepower from two Cummins QSK19-M main engines and the retractable pilothouse is 32 feet. The inside of the Gwyneth Anne boasts brick flooring, granite countertops and three sleeping quarters. Towboat Kamryn Olivia, introduced in 2018, is a retractable-pilothouse boat with Z-drives from ZF Marine. Two Cummins QSK-38 diesel engines provide 2,000 horsepower. The boat is 77 feet long.

The Gwyneth Anne and Kamryn Olivia – named after Ozinga fifth-generation daughters – join the Alivia Faith, Elyse Noelle, Mikayla Skye, and Sydney Reese on the Illinois waterways. These boats help Ozinga’s Materials and Logistics team serve customers from Peoria to Chicago and mark a meaningful milestone in further establishing the importance of waterways in the Midwest.

MRM is a full-service barging and marine services company that operates a network of 9 river-based terminals. Earlier this year, MRM facilitated the demolition of the old Morton Salt building on Wacker Drive in Chicago, utilizing over 10 barges to recycle more than 16,000 tons of material. These barges, equivalent to over 600 semi-trucks, eliminated roadway traffic for more efficient and environmentally friendly transportation. This is just one example of several projects that were completed during the redevelopement along the Chicago River. In 2017, MRM moved over 1,500 barges, reducing Illinois road congestion by over 90,000 semi-trucks.

“The addition of the Gwyneth Anne and Kamryn Olivia have allowed us to provide extremely reliable and responsive levels of service to our customers across the industrial, agricultural, and construction materials markets,” said Aaron Ozinga, President of Ozinga Materials and Logistics. “Our customers expect the highest levels of service, and having these two brand-new boats, which were designed and built to maximize operating efficiencies while minimizing our environmental footprint, have allowed us to achieve excellent operating and service performance this year.”

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Ozinga’s Spring Kickoff events started Monday at Notre Dame, and today the fun continues at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Wisconsin. Like Monday’s event, today’s celebration will be a chance for Ozinga coworkers to join together to celebrate our accomplishments and look towards the future. Plus, we’ll honor those coworkers who have been a part of the industry for many years and take a look at some of the innovation we have up our sleeves.

Ozinga is proud of our Wisconsin operations. We entered the Wisconsin market in 2014 and have grown significantly over the past few years. In addition to our ready-mix concrete plants, we also have materials and logistics operations throughout the state as well, helping companies to source and supply aggregates and other materials.

We like to think our products and services have helped build Wisconsin, and we’re lucky to have been a part of some great projects like the new IKEA warehouse, Franklin Middle School, Northwest Mutual Tower, 7Seventy7 Building, U-Line Corporate Office and Warehouse, and so many more.

We’re excited to celebrate with our Wisconsin coworkers today and look forward to the other Spring Kickoff events taking place next week. If you’d like an inside scoop on Ozinga Spring Kickoffs, be sure to keep your eye out for a livestream event happening later this month.

As a company with coworkers located throughout the US and a variety of services and business entities, Ozinga takes time every spring to bring everyone together and kick off the upcoming season with a celebration known as Spring Kickoff. This year, we are taking our Spring Kickoffs on the road and hosting coworker events in multiple states to make it more convenient on those who live and work in different areas.

Over the next two weeks, Ozinga coworkers will join together in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida to celebrate our company’s recent milestones—which includes our 90th anniversary—as well as look at the past and toward the future.

During Spring Kickoff, Ozinga ownership and local regional executives will address the group and get everyone excited about where the company plans to go over the next year. The event will touch on growth, focusing on both territory growth as well as business expansion and the continuous addition of new and talented coworkers.

One big segment of Spring Kickoff is to remind our coworkers about the Ozinga values of service, learning, and entrepreneurship. Service is all about going above and beyond to meet the needs of others; Learning is a lifelong journey that encourages us to always expand our skills and ideas; and Entrepreneurship is seeing opportunity with change while being innovative and growth oriented.

However, what makes Spring Kickoff the most exciting is its focus on the people. Not only does it provide a great opportunity for coworkers to mix and mingle with those who may not be in their region or operation, but it also allows every coworker to feel part of the Ozinga family.

Our company may have innovative equipment and impressive assets, but the biggest investment made is in the people. We know that it’s the relationships we build that help keep Ozinga moving in the right direction, and it’s exciting to share all this with those who have helped us get to where we are today.

Although these events are only available to those who work at Ozinga, there will be a public live feed taking place on Facebook. Stay tuned for more information to be a part of the great event.

Although Ozinga is mostly recognized for our ready mix operations, we also provide compressed natural gas and bulk materials and logistics solutions to customers throughout the Midwest. For our materials and logistics operation, we have a mine in Henry, IL where we mine sand and gravel and are currently building a port on the Illinois River.

Our Henry operation relies heavily on the skilled professionals we have on our team, which includes our mine manager, Mark. Whether he’s running a loader or handling the day-to-day operations, our Mark helps ensure our operation runs efficiently. Experience a day in the life of Mark, our mine manager down in Henry.

If you would like to Trade Up to Ozinga, apply for one of our open positions today.

n June 2017, a new boat became part of the Ozinga and Middle River Marine family. The Gwyneth Anne, the fifth boat in our fleet, hit the local waterways and is now currently in use to help our Materials and Logistics team efficiently handle operations from Peoria to Chicago.


The Gwyneth Anne is a very impressive boat. Built by MBI-Utica Indiana, the boat is 65’ long by 28’ wide by 9’ depth. The retractable pilothouse is 32’, and the boat includes two Cummins QSK19-M main engines providing 1,325 horsepower to help it safely and efficiently navigate the local waterways.

While the exterior of this boat is a beauty, the interior also stands out as impressive. The Chicago brick flooring helps give the interior a polished look, while the granite countertops add some fine finishing and detail. The boat also includes three sleeping quarters and two heads, which allow the crew to remain comfortable as they move materials from one location to the next.

Named after the fifth-generation daughters, the Gwyneth Anne joins the Alivia Faith, Elyse Noelle, Mikayla Skye, and Sydney Reese.

The Gwyneth Anne continues to enhance the Ozinga and Middle River Marine presence on the Chicago area waterways. If you’re interested in our logistics services, contact a logistics specialist today.

I am a student at Trinity Christian College and I have been working for Ozinga for a little over a year. Just a few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Israel along with Trinity Christian College Theology professors and about 30 other students to visit Biblical sites and learn more about the political standing of the country.

Our group landed in Israel on July 9 and the minute our feet hit the ground, we starting absorbing the sights. A majority of our trip consisted of visiting locations like the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, Jerusalem, Jaffa (AKA Joppa), the Jordan River, The Garden of Gethsemane, and many more. While we were there, we opened our Bibles and read the Scriptures that are associated with each place. The other portion of our trip consisted of speakers from social and political communities within Israel who shared about the current struggles between Jews and Palestinians and how we can help ease tension.

Each new site brought joy, hope, and a few tears. Our eyes were opened and we let it sink in that these places actually existed and we were standing on holy ground. Many of us reaffirmed our baptism by being dunked in the Jorden River, we prayed and cried while sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, and we partook in the Lord’s Supper overlooking the city of Jerusalem. Every person on the trip had a least one moment where our worldly reality seemed so small compared to the Lord’s heavenly design.

For me, this occurred at the Sea of Galilee. We went on a boat ride on the Sea and had individual reflection time to allow ourselves to soak in the events that happened so many years ago. I had opened my Bible up to Mark 4:35-40 and read about Jesus calming the storm. I closed my eyes, stuck my hand in the water, and repeated the words that Jesus had said, “Quiet. Be still.” The reason that this meant so much to me is because I struggle with anxiety and depression every day. Jesus has so much power that he can calm an entire sea, yet I doubt that he can take away my negative thoughts. At that moment, I said to myself, “If Jesus could calm a sea, then he can surely calm the storm in me.” I felt like my eyes had been opened and my struggles had become so small compared to the waves. This is a moment that I will never forget.

The speakers that we had the chance to hear and question really challenged us to think twice about what we hear in the media. Stories can be twisted and misinterpreted so easily in order to gain more viewers. It was heartbreaking to learn that what Americans refer to as ‘terror attacks’ happen every single day in Israel and for them, it is a normal part of everyday life. My heart broke when we visited the Gaza Strip and learned that one of the first things that children are taught is how to run to the nearest bomb shelter.

On July 20, we returned to the United States with a new appreciation for our safety and our country. If we compare ourselves to Israel, we live like kings and queens. We have homes that do not have bomb shelters attached. Our children can go outside and play without fear of a bomb flying overhead. We also came back extremely fulfilled. We watched the Bible come to life before our very eyes. We learned so much about the Jewish culture and gained an appreciation for their dedication to Scripture. We returned thankful. We serve a powerful and gracious Lord. I am forever changed and my faith deepened through this trip to the Holy Land.

I would like to thank the Ozinga community for all the support they have given me through prayers and concerns. Without this company, I would not have been able to attend this trip and see the Lord working in Israel.

Natalie Rosendale is a Human Resources Assistant who helps maintain compliance with government laws and assists with general office tasks. She enjoys eating pizza, watching Netflix, and drinking Starbucks.

Ozinga takes safety seriously, both on the job and at home. Whether you work in the office or in the field, our safety procedures are handled by Jeff, our director of safety.

Jeff spends his days training Ozinga coworkers on the importance of safety procedures and protocols and ensuring the company complies with safety regulations. Spend a day in the life of Jeff and see all the tasks he handles to ensure everyone goes home safe.

Ozinga is proud of our committment to safety and making our company a great place to work. If you want to trade up to a company that puts your safety first, check out our current positions.

When you need to move bulk materials from one place to another, whether aggregates, pig iron, or agricultural products, you may have your choice of moving it via road, water, or rail. Having multiple options can be extremely beneficial, but it’s also important to ensure you’re making the choice that not just gets your materials to their destination, but also allows you to reap additional operational and cost benefits. This is why moving your material via barge is a great choice for suppliers across the globe, and here’s why:


Companies rely on efficiency, so it makes sense to choose a method of transportation that enhances this need. Moving material via barge creates multiple operational efficiencies that are extremely beneficial to companies. First, it allows you to have more control over your inventory. Since one barge carries the equivalent of 17 railcars or 75 semi-trucks, moving your material using one barge allows you to have better control of where your inventory is located.

In addition, you can count on your materials to arrive at their destination together. Instead of waiting on multiple semi-trucks, which could get lost or slowed down for various reasons, you can expect your entire shipment to arrive in a timely fashion, which allows you to get started on projects quickly.


Barge is often the most economical way to move large quantities of materials over great distances. In general, the longer the distance traveled, the more economical barging becomes. Since all companies care deeply about their bottom line, this is a smart choice.


When your company moves material via barge, you’ll require fewer trucks and railcars to be on the road. Barge transportation causes far less air pollution than trucking and rail, and it also consumes less energy per ton-mile of freight carried. Additionally, since barges rely on a few terminals and connections, they don’t take up any land space, which keeps natural plant and animal habitats intact or allows for urban development.


According to the American Waterways Operators, there are more than 31,000 barges on the US waterways that move more than 880 million tons of domestic cargo each year. This helps to employ tens of thousands of American workers from coast to coast, which helps to stimulate our economy. When the economy is up, your company will likely reap some benefits of additional sales, and this is a win-win.

Ozinga offers barge and transload services throughout the Midwest. If your company is interested in learning more about how moving your materials via barge could be beneficial, contact our logistics experts today.

Moving materials via freight rail is a popular choice for many companies. This tried-and-true method of transportation is a smart choice for many companies. Use the freight rail fact infographic below to learn more about why freight rail should be a top choice for your material transportation needs.

Ozinga is an expert in transporting material via road, water and rail. If you’re interested in material transportation, contact one of our logistics specialists today.

Barging is an important transportation method for businesses across the globe. In the United States alone, more than 620 million tons of cargo move through the inland waterways in one year, which generates about $70 billion for the economy. If you’re new to the barging industry or simply want to brush up on your jargon, use the following barging glossary for assistance.


Sand, gravel, stone, crushed rock, and other bulk materials typically used in the construction industry and shipped via barge.


A flat-bottomed vessel that carries products via rivers, lakes or canals.


An instrument that measures the atmospheric pressure.


A port location where vessels are moored.

Bollard Pull

A tugboat’s capability to pull, which refers to how many tonnes can be applied.


Floating objects anchored to another object used as a navigational aid.


Licensed officer dedicated to command a merchant ship.


The transportation of cargo.


Sealed and reusable boxes that move goods by water, rail or road.

Covered Hopper Barge

A barge with covers used to transport materials that need to stay dry. Examples of this include cement, grain, or fertilizer.


Circulation of water caused by wind.

Deck Hand

Responsible for lookout watches and security rounds while underway. Also handles lines and assists with all operations on deck including docking/undocking, making and breaking of tows, and deck maintenance.


The minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The draft can also be used to determine the weight of the cargo on board by calculating the total displacement of water and then using Archimedes’ principle.


A parking spot for barges, normally offered by marine service providers at a daily charge rate.


Steering wheel of a ship


Ship frame or body.


Securing a ship to a dock with cables or ropes.

Open Hopper Barge

A barge with no cover used to transport materials that need to stay dry.

Tow Boat/Push Boat/Boat

A boat designed to push/tow a barge or more barges. They come in many different designs, dimensions, weights, horsepower, and retractable or non-retractable pilot house to travel constrained waterways.

Ozinga offers barge towing and marine services. Contact one of our logistics experts to learn more.