Port Captain

Location: Seattle

Company: Foss Maritime

Employment Type: Full Time

Region: Pacific Northwest

Job Category: Management

Publish Date: August 8, 2019

Company Description: For more than a century, Foss Maritime has set the standard for marine transportation with leading edge technology, engineering, and shipbuilding. Combining global reach with local expertise, Foss is recognized for its state-of-the-art fleet, experienced and dedicated crews, knowledgeable customer service staff, and world-class engineers. Along with our independent subsidiaries the company employs thousands of people throughout the United States. With hundreds of tugs and barges we provide harbor services and transportation operations in all major U.S. West Coast ports – including the Columbia and Snake River system. Internationally, Foss supports customers across the Pacific Rim, in Europe, South America and the Arctic.


  • Full Time
  • Anywhere
  • Applications have closed

Foss Maritime


Responsible for supervising and coordinating all phases of operations relating to the division tugs and barges. Includes direct supervision of Deck Officers and Deckhands. Involved in selection, promotion and training, crewing, governmental and state regulatory and safety compliance standards, budget development & management, casualty investigations, vessel repair, coordination of vessel schedules and operations, and developing and executing operating standards designed to ensure regulatory compliance of personnel and vessels consistent with company policies.


  • Directs and supervises all offshore marine employees.
  • Interfaces with customers, marine & shoreside employees, vendors, pilots, and regulatory officials.
  • Develops, implements and enforces policies and procedures.
  • Responsible for hiring, crewing, promotions, personnel placement. Directs training as pertains to marine personnel.
  • Supervises responsibilities and performance of vessel personnel.
  • Audits vessel logs and approves overtime.
  • Assists with utilization and scheduling of tugs and barges in fleet.
  • Initiates appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action.
  • Supervises personnel involved in field projects including special shipments and salvage operations.
  • Responsible for vessel compliance with the pro-forma schedule, communication of schedule to appropriate parties.
  • Ensures compliance with company SOP’s, regulatory, licensing, and training requirements.
  • Investigates and reports the causes and effects of marine incidents.
  • Ensures compliance of company safety policies, maintenance and training programs.
  • Conducts regular inspections of tugs and dredges to ensure compliance with Responsible Carrier Program.
  • Complies with company Preventative Maintenance Program.
  • Complies with applicable Federal, State and Local regulations, including, but not limited to: USCG, EPA, ISM, ABS, OSHA and OSPR
  • Prepares budgets and manages vessel’s supply and crew costs.
  • Supervises vessel modifications, rigging and supply.
  • Interprets and administers government regulations.
  • Assists in negotiation and implementation of labor contracts.
Supervisory and Leadership of Direct Staff
  • Responsible for all matters of employment including recruiting, training, development, promotion, discipline and termination.
  • Understands and complies with Foss’ Affirmative Action Plan, EEO, Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and all other HR policies and procedures.
  • Effectively communicates regional goals and objectives.
  • Provides direction and leadership to achieve company Core Values, Mission and Safety Vision.
  • Processes employee evaluations in a timely manner.
  • Directs, motivates and develops employees for maximum performance.
  • Effectively communicates regional goals and objectives.
  • Provides direction and leadership to achieve company Core Values, Mission and Safety Vision.
  • Processes employee evaluations in a timely manner.
  • Directs, motivates and develops employees for maximum performance.
  • Performs special duties and other projects as assigned.
  • Adheres to all company policies.
  • Accomplishes all tasks as appropriately assigned or requested.


  • Must have a strong maritime background with a thorough understanding of the day-to-day operations of vessels, their limits, their capabilities and both internal characteristics and external factors influencing them.
  • Must also understand the individual roles, interactions and responsibilities of crewmembers manning the vessels.
  • Ability to interpret, administer and insure compliance with government regulations related to vessel manning, construction, maintenance & repair, safety, training, navigation, work rules, emergency response, licensing and towing operations.
  • Should understand at a minimum, basic cost accounting, budgeting, forecasting and financial planning processes to effectively manage multiple budgets on a routine basis.
  • Good organizational and planning skills are essential.
  • Must possess strong written and oral communicative skills to draft business letters, develop reports, present oral presentations, create policies & procedures and write repair specifications.
  • Should have good interpersonal skills to work well with customers, peers, superiors, subordinates, competitors and the general public.
  • Should also have a strong appreciation for and be sensitive to the needs of our customers recognizing that the Company is a specialty service provider.
  • Must be a team player but at the same time be willing to exercise authority when required.
  • A coach-type management style is most effective.
  • Strong decision making and problem solving abilities are a must. Should have good negotiating skills to deal with regulators, customers, vendors and labor unions.
  • Must be flexible and receptive to change. Must have ability to deviate from established routines on short notice and be able to recognize the level of importance of new assignments.
  • Must be able to prioritize tasks accordingly to meet deadlines without sacrificing operational quality.
  • Must be able to delegate effectively. Must be accurate in completion of assignments.
  • Must have reasonable sensory skills in order to maintain USCG license including color vision, depth perception, hand/eye coordination and hearing; and be proficient in the English language.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with dispatchers and all levels and personalities.
  • Must be able to work effectively under stress and provide strong supervision in emergency response situations.
  • Participates in negotiations with labor unions, customers and vendors.
  • Provides direct supervision of other managers and subordinates on a day-to-day basis.
  • Works closely with customers, peers, competitors, government officials and vendors. Should have good team building skills and ability to motivate others.
  • Must effectively process sensitive and confidential information. Regularly coordinates activities with members of other departments.
  • Telephones, calculators, computers, copiers, fax machines, radios, navigation equipment, including radar, GPS and autopilot.
  • The job is generally performed in an office but when in the field, it is subject to all weather conditions, including exposure to high noise levels and exposure to heat and cold.
  • Schedule: Long hours must be anticipated and travel is required. On-call 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Many late night telephone calls, and an occasional, field or emergency response is required.
  • Demands: The job requires a great deal of flexibility in meeting schedules and deadlines. Must be productive and precise. Relatively high level of stress. Key projects require a great deal of extra effort.
  • Must have extensive knowledge of offshore towing operations and harbor ship assist work.
  • Must have experience working on twin screw and tractor tugs.
  • Planning and forecasting skills relative to business trends, vessel management, and cost projections.
  • Ability to demonstrate high ethical standards of honesty and integrity to lead by example.
  • Ability to delegate and empower employees to achieve business goals and operational standards.
  • Knowledge of business management principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of repair and replacement costs essential to effective cost control.
  • Knowledge of labor law, contract negotiation, and implementation of labor contracts.
  • Must be able to provide functional direction to Deck Officers in charge of company vessels.
  • Provide direction to Customer Service Representatives in the scheduling of vessel crews.
  • Must have the ability to coordinate the efficient use of vessel and shoreside assets between geographic areas and activities.
  • Ability to assist in cost planning, reporting, and operational expenditures in the region.
  • Must be able to gain an intimate familiarity with company lines of business, reporting and monitoring of financial performance.
  • Ability to understand and interpret laws and regulations as they apply to the maritime business.
  • Must be able to build and maintain effective working relationships with regulatory agencies including, but not limited to, U.S. Coast Guard, ABS, OSHA, OSPR and other local, state and federal agencies.


High school education is desirable and preference given to those with maritime academy or college degree. 3-5 years as a tugboat captain or shoreside management/ocean towing is preferred. Must possess a valid USCG Masters License or Mates License at a minimum.

Foss Maritime Company is an Equal Opportunity – Affirmative Action Employer and a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. We are committed to a diverse workforce and taking affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. Foss is a drug-free employer and a participant of the E-Verify Employment Verification Program.