In 1971, Dale Manns started Riverside Trucking Company as a trucking and stone company in the tri-state area. In 1972, the company expanded into the coal trucking and transportation business and purchased a boat to shift barges along the river. In 1974, Economy Barge was started at the request of the Ohio River Company with focus on the barge repair industry sector. The success of these ventures led to the creation of Superior Marine Ways, Inc. founded in December 1977, by Dale and Carolyn Manns. The company was headquartered in Proctorville, Ohio until 1984.
In the spring of 1984, Superior Marine purchased the Burlington, Ohio property, which currently houses the company’s headquarters. The current office, fabrication and machine shop were built at that time. Superior then expanded its operations from barge repair to include; inspections, cleaning as well as fabrication and construction. Currently, Superior Marine has a 28,400 square feet building, two dry docks and eight harbor vessels at their Ohio River mile post 314.9 facility.
The summer of 2016 started the expansion to a new subsidiary company, Precision Paint Systems, LLC located adjacent to the Burlington, Ohio facility. The expansion includes a 26,000 square feet indoor facility, providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to perform blast and painting on marine equipment. Five new sets of waterways allowing for transferability from land to water for barges and boats were completed with the expansion. The expansion allows Superior to capitalize on drydock availability to expand services to include ship repair.
In early 2018, Superior Marine acquired an existing river business in Charleston, WV. This acquisition rounded out the services Superior, which include; dredging, river construction, stevedoring and transloading. The subsidiary, Inland River Dredging and Construction was formed to operate the new assets.
Michael, Stephen, and Matthew Manns, sons of Dale and Carolyn Manns, currently own and operate Superior Marine Ways, Inc., and affiliates.