Cenac Marine Services, LLC was originally founded in 1931 by present day CEO, Benny Cenac Jr.’s grandfather, Jock Cenac. Benny Cenac Jr, a well-known, philanthropic figure in the local Houma community, continues to lead the Cenac company on the same principles his grandfather established the towing business on over 88 years ago. He has always taken pride in the high level of service the company provides, both internally and externally. He also firmly believes, and has continuously proven, that a strong internal company culture will directly deliver exceptional customer service to each one of Cenac Marine Services clients.
“We are really known for our attention to customer service, detail, safety and operational standards,” Cenac says. “Our boats are kept in pristine condition to ensure the safety of our crew and to provide the best services possible to our clients”, stated Benny Cenac Jr in a recent interview with TLI Magazine.
Cenacs’ pioneering way in the marine industry has continuously revealed the newest and most innovative inland push boat and tank barge fleet operations within the US Inland Waterways System. And because Cenac Marine Services values service so much, they happily cater to all major oil companies and refineries, transporting crude oil, residual fuels, feedstocks, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined products and LPG’s. They have been featured in industry recognized websites like TLI Magazine, Workboat Magazine, and Waterways Journal.
It’s safe to say that Cenac Marine Services has perfected the art of towing excellence and customer service while also open to growth and change which is exactly what is needed when working with the top oil companies. And at the same time, they are also able to hold true to their values “to always operate as a family, and everyone from the boat captains to the deckhands are treated as such.”
While Benny Cenac, Jr recently announced the sell of his towing fleet to Kirby Corporation he did mention that the business has grown. That is due to Cenac’s vision and professional leadership. He stated, “Our business has grown aggressively in this climate and we have not deviated from our family approach amongst our employees,” Cenac explains. “At Cenac Marine, that has been a strength of the organization from the beginning”.
Quality is Key
Benny Cenac Jr and his Cenac Marine team are devoted to ongoing advancement of its processes and procedures to ensure it remains strong in providing for their client’s needs. For example, fuel costs have risen constantly for the company, so it continues to re-engineer, modify or create new fuel systems for its vessels that maximize fuel efficiency without affecting performance.
The company has found that structural design changes in its boats, along with the constant evolution of its engine and power plants, allow it to minimize its fuel costs while ensuring a high level of function and quality in its operation.
“Never straying far from our core values and principles, our strength has always remained in keeping our fleet and equipment at the latest levels of technology and design,” Cenac says. “We are constantly updating and replacing technology and vessels so that Cenac Marine’s reputation as a modern transportation and towing operation, coupled with unmatched maintenance and reliability, will maintain our position as a market leader.”
Marine and Industrial Supply Operation
Cenac Marine is upgrading its supply chain by transitioning from outsourcing of its supply inventory to producing its own supply system in-house. Cenac Marine is associated with a marine and industrial supply operation, providing it with control on price, quality and real-time delivery. Cenac says this has improved efficiency and the value it brings to customers.
The company also is capitalizing in technology and has brought some IT roles in-house to continue its quality status. “The speed of change and innovation in the technology sector has affected not only our business dramatically, but business globally,” Benny Cenac Jr says. “Our efforts at Cenac Marine in this area is to invest heavily in personnel, hardware and software for all of our IT functions.”
“In-house programmers have created custom software that gives us a unique advantage in the industry,” Cenac continues. “This software development has improved every area of our operation and is an ongoing effort to not only stay up-to-date, but remain at the cutting edge of technology throughout the operation.”
Employee Training and Growth
Not only does Benny Cenac Jr value ongoing growth and strength of his company, he also is focused on the health of the marine industry and local Louisiana economy, and demonstrates this in several ways. He sees maritime education as an investment in the company’s future.
“Providing more access to the proper training allows more individuals the opportunity to have successful careers in the maritime industry,” Cenac explains. “This, in turn, assists us in finding employees who will excel at Cenac Marine.”
Cenac Marine Services is a sponsor of the Bachelor of Science in Management with a Maritime Concentration program at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
Some of the company’s boat captains volunteer time during their days off to teach the class at the community college. “Our company as a whole is invested in the future of maritime towing in our area,” Cenac stated.
Arlen Benny Cenac Jr. was born and raised in Houma, La. He has an innate passion for supporting the community and it is important to him to help sustain local heritage and culture. A few of Cenac’ s communal support efforts include sponsoring the Son Rise Music Festival, providing accommodations for veterans at the Houma Oilman’s Fishing Invitational, supporting the Jackie Bartels Kids Conservation Fest, and donations to the Stella Learning Center located in Thibodeaux, LA.
“Cenac Marine Services has developed over generations from a very humble beginning,” Benny Cenac Jr stresses. “I am most proud of our firm commitment to delivering the best equipment, operated by the best people, at very competitive rates without ever sacrificing safety, value and efficiency to our customers. In that same environment, we have kept the operation loyal to its core values and our valued employees. That is a delicate balance that I have worked hard every day to maintain and come to work each day, pledging to do things the ‘Cenac’ way.”