Community Clean-up: MTI Picking Up & Giving Back

MTI Trash Road

Why a Community Clean-up Day? Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) has been part of the Meggett community for almost 60 years. Like any good corporate citizen, the company continually looks for ways to give back to the place we call our home and to lead the way in making our town a better place to live, work, and play.

In that spirit, MTI employees completed another successful community clean-up day on Friday, March 5th, 2021.  Team members scoured ditches, shoulders, and the roadside from Ethel Post Office Road to the end of Highway 165 at Metal Trades.

Highway 165: Target-rich Environment for Community Clean-up!

Highway 165 is the main road that travels between the town of Meggett and the Metal Trades facility. There is high traffic volume, some speed issues, and the occasional bit of littering. As a candidate for a community clean-up, HWY 165 is a target that makes sense, and one that provides bang for the buck. What’s more, it provides evidence of what we always knew – but perhaps the community did not – that MTI truly cares about the local land and water that provide us our livelihood.

Environmental Avengers, Assemble!

MTI Team

And so, on that clear, cool Friday morning a team of smiling MTI faces assembled, including Camy Swanson from Accounts Payable and Receivable, Safety Director Patti Corbin, Director of Contracts Megan Dean, Controller Daniel Reed, Human Resources Director Kristi Rowe, and Estimator Greg Crites.

Trash Composite

Armed with positive attitudes and upbeat tunes, our band set about their task, dancing down the highway and filling their trash bags for the entire morning. Together, our team picked up an impressive amount of trash (10 bags!) along Highway 165. All agreed it was an extremely rewarding and productive session.

MTI Team Wider

Environmental Leadership by Example

With our longstanding presence in the community, MTI has a duty to lead by example. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. We will continue to positively impact our community. And together with the Town and its people, MTI will continue to do its part to keep Meggett clean. If you have questions or suggestions to help us achieve our goal of environmental leadership, please contact MTI today!

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MTI is committed to making this a regularly scheduled event. The Town of Meggett is planning the next community clean-up on Sat April 17th. We are planning to attend to show our support and commitment to keeping our community beautiful.


US Army Shipyard Support Contracts: MTI for the Win!

Metal Trades, Inc. closed out the month of January 2021 with two major IDIQ/MATO awards from the US Army Watercraft Sustainment Maintenance (AWSM) Program, which is managed by the US Army Contracting Command- Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA). The shorthand, straight-to-the-point details announced that:

MTI was awarded two of the three zones that were competed to Industry to include:

  • Zone 1 (CONUS Support) for a ceiling value potential of $255 million over the next 5 years, and
  • Zone 3 (OCONUS Support) for a ceiling value potential of $155 million over the next 5 years.

It’s great news for the entire MTI family but to fully appreciate the importance of these awards – and how we earned them – it’s helpful to ponder MTI’s capabilities, spirit of innovation, and decades of service to the Army as well as the value we bring to each project.

Maintaining the Army’s Brown-water Navy

Fun fact: the US Army fields more boats than does the US Navy. Known as “brown water” boats, they ply shallow waters such as rivers and coastal channels. Many of the boats in the brown water fleet were designed and built for a 40 year lifespan and a good number of them are approaching or have passed that milestone.

How does a boat remain relevant and effective throughout a 40-decade lifespan and beyond? Superior design plays a part, but expert maintenance is critical. Every three years, these boats must return to a shipyard for regular on-condition cycle maintenance, or OCCM.

US Army Support Contracts

MTI: Comprehensive Marine Maintenance

Metal Trades, Inc. is one of the Army’s most trusted OCCM providers, and has been for over 25 years. We have dedicated an entire business division to maintaining and overhauling government boats. MTI is an incumbent on the contract to service certain boats such as the LCU (Landing Craft Utility.) In fact, we lead the field in number of LCUs overhauled at 120 and counting.

OCCM is comprehensive, top-to-bottom service. When boats come in for refit, MTI pulls it into our railway/dry dock. We overhaul the engine. We pull the drive shaft. We replace propellers. We check all electrical systems. We repair and paint the hull.

These are only some of the routine steps in our overhaul process. But it’s the non-routine aspects of OCCM where MTI truly adds the kind of value that keeps the Army coming back.

Capability, Craftsmanship, and Continuous Improvement

First, as we reported in our last edition, MTI’s railway and machine shop are large, capable, and continuously improving. Metal Trades is a turnkey facility, able to anticipate and meet customer requirements from the everyday to the extraordinary. Ours is also a team that does it right the first time, so quality warranty claims are truly rare.

Second, knowledge and experience. Our team includes craftsmen with decades of experience in marine electrical and machining, whose knowledge is sought after throughout their fields. Their intimate familiarity with these boats and their components has led to some impressive maintenance feats.

Innovation through Reverse Engineering

Technology, mission requirements, and threats evolve. 40-year-old components become obsolete, spare parts impossible to find. Not a problem for MTI; our team can easily reverse engineer and fabricate the part required for the system to perform its task as designed. Moreover, our familiarity with the system allows us to question whether the 1980 way of doing things is still the best way. If not, we innovate. In fact, some of our retrofit solutions have become the new standard for these systems, making MTI an official OEM provider.

For these reasons, Army designs and equipment scheduled for retirement are being tasked to keep sailing, because MTI craftsmen and innovations make it possible to do so!

Supporting the Mission, Protecting the Warfighter

MTI is proud to win these IDIQ/MATO awards, as we have won them in years past. But we are not complacent. These are awards we covet and compete for because they help us stay in business and keep craftsmen employed. They allow us to keep doing a job we love. And they enable MTI to fulfill our primary mission: delivering reliable, superior functioning boats to help our warfighters do their jobs and come home safely.

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Did you know MTI also provides COMMERCIAL craft maintenance & repair services? We invite you to take a look at our capabilities, then give us a call!  

MTI 2020 Year in Review

MTI 2020 – what’s the story? Metal Trades Inc. is like most companies; the calendar flips to a new year and we look back on the past 12 months. We take stock of the big wins, the little ones, and the bumps in the road. When the stats and trends are fully digested, we might pen a report like this one. Pretty standard stuff in a typical year.

Of course, this was anything BUT a typical year! The story of MTI’s 2020 was one of thinking on our feet, adaptation, and soldiering through. Despite the obstacles, though, we got our share of wins. We’d like to tell you about some of them now!

Pandemic Plan: Keep the Lights On and the Employees Healthy!


If we had to choose MTI’s major accomplishment in 2020, it would be the way we adapted and survived in a vastly altered COVID-19 landscape. As a manufacturer, an essential business, and a DoD contractor supporting critical power grid infrastructure, MTI had to find ways to keep our people safe and to keep working. So we invested in plexiglass, disinfecting fog machines for the facility, thermometers for standard daily temperature checks, and masks for our employees. We also strengthened our onsite cleaning protocols as well as facility access protocols.

Of course, our employees played a huge role. While on the job, our employees had to learn how to get the job done while practicing social distancing.

We have had full support from our team and they have done a great job practicing all COVID precautionary measures that we have implemented. Their team spirit didn’t falter!

Thankfully, due to our substantial workload and minimal COVID cases, MTI was able to retain the majority of our workforce and currently we are increasing our manpower in several skilled trades.

CMMC: Becoming a Cyber-Certified and Compliant Contractor!

When Ted Corbin first parked his welding truck on a job site in 1962, he never could have imagined that someday his company would be cramming for advanced cyber security certification from the DoD. But that’s the price of success!

In January 2020, the DoD introduced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) standard.  Basically, this ensures that DoD contractors have the proper measures in place so that their electronic documentation is safe from espionage. There are levels of certification, each more intense than the last.

This year, MTI set its sights on Level 3. Getting there would require an investment of time, talent, and money.  So we were gratified to win an SCMEP (South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership) SC-Cybersecurity Assistance Program Grant! We have put a lot of focus on updating security and compliance with CMMC to certify to a Level 3 and this grant award propelled us into the process by focusing on a Gap Assessment and policy updates. We are currently working with our managed IT Service Partner to implement the new program.

MTI 2020 Capital Improvements: The Tools to Get the Job Done!

Picture of Grove Crane Delivered

The client asks, can you do the big jobs? The complicated jobs? Multiple jobs at once? In our business, success means answering ‘yes’ to these questions.

And it means maintaining a railway that is constantly growing and improving, gaining new capabilities and equipment to handle whatever the client throws at us.

In 2020, MTI was awarded a MARAD Shipyard Grant Awardee for three Skytrak Telehandlers and a 55 Ton Grove Crane. With this new capital equipment, MTI’s expert team of riggers and handlers are able to execute big, complicated moves like never before.

Additional updates and upgrades around the Metal Trades facility include:

    • Railway (dry dock) upgrades and reinforcements
    • Increased fabrication capability- new, larger door on Fab Building allows for larger-scale components and structures
    • Machine Purchases- New 160 Ton Kobelco crawler Crane (Big Bird), Edge Breaker 4000 Deburring Machine, Kinetics K5000 Processing Machine
    • Approved for Zoning Request for a potential new building.

MTI intends to keep our Drydocking and Transfer System filled with numerous ships and barges on land at one time to keep our guys busy with simultaneous repairs on multiple vessels. That means competing for every contract out there, and that requires maintaining a facility with capabilities that are second to none!


MTI 2020: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

MTI 2020 Year in Review

“2020: may we never see another one like it.” It’s a popular sentiment, and one we share. But we also have to look back with some pride at the way MTI adapted and carried on, thanks to the efforts of the folks in the office, the shop floor, and the railway. Together we celebrate our shared successes and we begin 2021 in a position of strength.

In fact, Metal Trades, Inc. closed out the month of January 2021 with two major IDIQ/MATO awards from the US Army! We will tell you all about those in our next edition. There’s nothing like celebrating the New Year with new opportunities. Now, let’s get to work!

Metal Trades Delivers Construction Barge

Shipbuilder and Heavy Steel Fabricator Metal Trades, Inc., located on Yonges Island, SC has announced the launch of its largest-ever built new construction barge.

This barge is 370’ x 59’ x 14’. It is designed to hold a total of 18- 60 foot rail cars capable of carrying cargo for up to 2298 Long Tons for New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (NYNJR), a short line railroad and wholly-owned entity of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Metal Trades’ first-ever tug is a nimble little boat that will deliver

It’s a little 850-hp pushboat with a big job. It’s also the first tug its shipyard has ever built. 

Capt Cooper, under construction since December 2015 at Metal Trades Inc., soon will serve North Carolina’s Bald Head Island as a vital link for supplies residents need in their daily lives. The existing boat’s crew is eager for the safer and more reliable replacement they will use to navigate the 4 nm across the Cape Fear River.

Pushboat a first for Metal Trades

In the 55 years since Ted Corbin found Metal Trades, Inc., Yonges Island, S.C., the family-owned company earned a well-established reputation for ship repair and building barges. The company marked a milestone when it launched its first newbuild twin screw pushboat, the 50’x24’x5.5’ Capt Cooper for Bald Head IslandLimited, LLC.

Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) is a family owned business located just south of Charleston, South Carolina operating with deep water access on the intracoastal waterway. We have been in business since 1962 and have extensive past performance in Heavy Steel Fabrication, Manufacturing, Machining, Vessel Construction and Vessel Maintenance and Repair for both commercial and Government customers.

” J.E. Corbin, Jr. founded Metal Trades, Inc. in 1962 with a pickup truck, a welding machine, and years of metal fabricating experience. Since that time MTI established a solid reputation for its multi-skilled work force and strong commitment to high quality.”


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