About Marine Operators, Inc.

Over the years, we have grown to become one of the region’s
most trusted names in barge rental/leasing and marine transportation.

Our History

The Beginning

Our company traces its roots back to 1953, when H. Wardell Ortte III of Lafayette purchased two 110-foot flat deck barges. Three years later Marine Operators, Inc. was officially incorporated by Mr. Ortte and Marion M. Walton, Sr. of New Iberia when the two men combined their ownership in four such units to form the company. Together these two men adopted strict ethical standards combined with good conservative business practices to establish a foundation of long healthy growth.

With Ortte and Walton at the helm, the company flourished over the next eighteen years. Mr. Ortte acquired full ownership in 1974 following the death of Mr. Walton, and managed it until he passed away in 1982.  At that point his wife Phyllis Ortte assumed the management reins, with the help of their son Steven H. Ortte. In 1987 Steve acquired full ownership from his family members, and has served as CEO from then on.

Like many South Louisiana companies, the 80’s were tough times, but MOP survived and grew by acquiring and building a more wide-ranging group of barges. Today our fleet is large, diverse, and known for its high quality.

Consistently Innovative

Over the years Marine Operators has developed new equipment and designs that are innovative, and which continue to move the industry forward.  Almost 25 years ago we became the first company to introduce hydraulic planetary gear winches on spud barges, which are not only very efficient and clean, but exceptionally safe. We have served as consultants to help many other operators incorporate this equipment, which continues today to be the safest and most preferred method used to raise and lower spuds.

In the early 80s we were the first company to build and lease a large keyway barge designed to work-over inland wells while floating. This barge was built for Shell Oil Company specifically for its intended use, and it is still the most preferred keyway barge design on the Gulf Coast.

We consistently seek out new design projects.  In 1990, we developed a replaceable bearing for all of our spud/crane barges that has significantly reduced our operating cost of cables and sheaves. This innovative design has allowed us to operate sheaves inside spuds for over 20 years without a single failure or day of down time.

Our Core Values

Marine Operators will:


Henry Wardell Ortte III

Marion Walton, Sr.