New direct shipping opportunities to Europe for Maine businesses

BY MORGAN ROGERS

June 5th, 2013 

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The rendering of a Norwegian composite bridge to be built by Harbor Technologies. The bridge is designed to represent the migration of salmon, so concrete and steel could not be used.

The Brunswick company specializes in composite construction which makes structures more durable, more weather resistant and impact resistant. Working with researchers at the University of Maine’s composite Laboratory Harbor Technologies has developed new unique designs for pylons, and bridges. photo courtesy Harbor Technologies.

Harbor Technologies, a Brunswick company, has a $500,000 contract with a Norwegian firm to supply composite panels for a bridge to be built in Mandal, Norway.

Harbor Technologies is a composite manufacturer that produces bridge beams for transportation departments, such as the Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, and composite pilings for the marine industry. They have an annual revenue between $6 million and $7 million and employ 40 people.

Martin Grimnes, founder of Harbor Technologies, explained that the Norwegian bridge is designed to represent the migration of salmon, so concrete and steel could not be used. Harbor Technologies will ship the bridge components through Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company that recently made its North American headquarters in Portland. The composite panels are each 20 feet long.

Before Eimskip, Harbor Technologies had planned to ship the components in several tractor-trailers to Philadelphia.

“The convenience of us not having to truck it to Philadelphia obviously has monetary value,” said Grimnes.

According to Grimnes, Harbor Technologies has worked with companies in Australia, but this will be the first export to Europe. Maine companies have not had direct shipping service to Europe for more than 30 years.

“I don’t think people realize how big a deal this is,” said Grimnes.

Eimskip’s service allows Harbor Technologies, and other Maine based companies, to be more competitive in the European market.

“This is a huge opportunity for Maine, but Maine companies have to use it,” said Annette Bossler, owner of Maine(e) International Consulting LLC.