Bouchard Transportation Co., an independently owned barge and tugboat company, is seeking a buyer to avert closing its facility in Melville, New York. 

According to a notice filed with the New York Department of Labor Thursday, the company is “currently in the process of seeking a purchaser of Bouchard or its assets which may also elect to continue the employment of all or a substantial number of employees.”

Bouchard said if no buyers come forward, it “may need to engage in employee layoffs beginning July 15.”

“If the company closes the facility, it is expected that the majority of (or all) employees located at the facility will be permanently terminated,” according to the filing. The facility employs 108 people.

Bouchard Transportation was founded in 1918 as a family-run business. The company operates 25 tugs and 25 tank barges across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The majority are double-hulled articulated tug and barge units.

Bouchard’s barges mostly operated across the eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, including New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Texas. The company specialized in large-scale, long-distance transport of oil and petroleum products.

Bouchard reportedly employed more than 500 people at one point. It’s not clear how many employees the company currently has.

Melville-based Bouchard Transportation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

In 2020, Bouchard tugboat crews across the U.S. were stranded without pay and forced to remain on board their vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard. Some crews were stranded for more than 80 days.

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