At Gulf Marine Contractors, our mission is simple.
We want to improve the performance of your port, marine and offshore operations.
To do this, we offer a wide range of support services provided by an industry-experienced team available to you on-demand at any point in your project, to help streamline and manage logistics operations, reduce costs, and provide visibility throughout.
We set ourselves apart by embracing and utilizing technology to help you navigate this journey along with us.
We believe in filling the gaps
– not only in our client's workflow but in the marine and offshore energy as a whole.
When the oil and gas downturn hit, plummeting the price of oil and causing the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, it also created the opportunity for improvement in the industry.
Almost overnight, companies shed many positions that weren't essential to operations, and as a result, the industry lost a lot of institutional experience. With more than half of the workforce nearing retirement age, our clients are increasingly finding themselves needing to do more with less.
But we can help.
Enter Clark Buffam and Steve Vanderwater:
Two men with a passion for the marine and offshore industry, and a drive for improvement.
Clark and Steve met through their wives, who became friends through a Mother’s Day Out program for their kids.
They began talking one night over dinner and discovered they both had a lot in common.
Clark, a third-generation customs broker, was working for a global shipping company at the time.
There was a disconnect within the company between the executive and local level where he worked. The company was being run by a string of temporary executives who were unable to understand the core of the business and were unreceptive to input from local management.
He felt that there was too much focus on meeting goals for the next quarter, rather than building a sustainable business. This ultimately led to a negative work environment, with he and his team working hard with little support from upper management.
It became increasingly clear that it was time to start seeking other opportunities and Clark began preparing for the right moment to leap.
Meanwhile, Steve was nearing the end of an acquisition agreement and preparing for his next challenge as well.
On two separate occasions, he was awarded the opportunity to join a company in a shareholder position, and both times, the companies sold to publicly traded companies.
With experience in both the private and public sectors, Steve was able to gain knowledge of all aspects of the business. He discovered a greater passion for the culture and mandate of the private sector, where more focus could be awarded to improving company morale and decisions could be made quickly and efficiently.
Steve believes that the most success he has seen throughout his career has come with the ability to make decisions quickly, take chances and show value to the most important aspects of business, which he considers to be his team, the clients and the vendors.
This philosophy made Steve a perfect fit with Clark who shares the same vision.
In 2017, Clark and Steve took the leap and launched Gulf Marine Contractors.
Just like any business starting out, it wasn’t an easy first few months. They had several commitments and promises from previous partners and potential clients that fell short. It was difficult to find the first client to take the leap along with them.
Eventually, after four months, Gulf Marine Contractors landed our first paying client with a small barge transportation job. Though it was small, it ultimately set things in motion for the company.
What are we up to Now?
Since then, GMC has steadily grown our team with logistics coordinators, project managers, customs brokers, marine engineers, procurement specialists, and technology experts.
Our team, aligned with Clark and Steve's vision for the company, has been successful in continuing to onboard new clients, primarily some of the leading drilling, offshore installation and subsea companies in the Gulf of Mexico, helping them simplify their transportation needs and manage their crews.
Gulf Marine Contractors has found a way to merge experience and understanding of all of the different aspects of the energy field and create a company that allows us to utilize our strengths and put our clients’ best interests first. Our success with this model so far has made us excited to continue growing and changing with the industry – embracing technology to help aid and simplify our client’s workflow, creating an ethical and positive company culture, and giving our clients the best possible strategy and experience.