A New Bedford barge company licensed by the Steamship Authority to carry large freight to Nantucket is now interested in serving Martha’s Vineyard.

Jonah Mikutowicz, the owner of 41 North Offshore, came to the Steamship Authority board meeting Tuesday to float his new plan after receiving interest from potential customers.

“We’ve seen steady demand,” Mr. Mikutowicz said, estimating that his business receives two to three requests a month, year-round, for service between New Bedford and the Vineyard.

“That’s more than we are receiving for Nantucket, probably two-threefold,” he said.

Along with trucks and heavy equipment, the 41 North Offshore barges can carry modular buildings and other freight items that are too wide for the Steamship Authority’s transfer bridges, Mr. Mikutowicz said.

Based on the company’s Nantucket operations, service to the Vineyard will likely be limited to customers who need to move multiple large freight units at the same time on specific dates.

The Steamship Authority is charged by the state to provide service to the Vineyard and Nantucket. The ferry line can license other companies to ply its waters for freight and passenger trips.

The board often considers if other services would fill a niche that the Steamship doesn’t provide.

Many queries he’s been getting are from customers with freight the Steamship Authority cannot accommodate, Mr. Mikutowicz told the board.

“I don’t see it having a material impact on the Steamship Authority’s revenue,” Mr. Mikutowicx said.

“[Callers] indicate that the reservations staff have told them there is no space available on Steamship Authority vessels, and that they should reach out to us as an alternative,” Mr. Mikutowicz said.

The barge company still has to secure dockage on the Vineyard side, Mr. Mikutowicz said, leading the board to table the discussion until arrangements are made for docking the barges and handling the freight.

Also Tuesday, the board heard from general manager Robert Davis that the new Steamship Authority website is still not ready to launch, with a handful of persistent technical problems remaining to be resolved by contractors.

Reservations staff members and ticket agents have been trained in the new software, Mr. Davis said, and there is still a possibility that the website will go live early next month.

If that’s not possible, he said, the next launch date would be in February 2024, so customers aren’t faced with a brand-new system to navigate when advance summer automobile reservations become available in January — a time of intense online activity already known for breakdowns and delays.

“If we don’t open it early enough in December, we do a disservice to our customers,” Mr. Davis said.

The Steamship Authority also has a new mobile application, which currently is waiting to be accepted by the Apple and Google app stores, he said.

Mr. Davis also reported that the ongoing review of the company’s information technology systems by an outside contractor is in its final phases, with a draft report expected in December and a final version with findings in January. 

Director of marine operations Mark Amundsen joined Tuesday’s meeting from Alabama, where he is supervising the conversion of two former oil field vessels into the SSA freight ferries M/V Aquinnah and M/V Barnstable.

This month, Alabama Shipyard workers sliced through each boat in two places to remove a 24-foot-long cross-section, in preparation for internal work needed to make the ferries eligible for passenger as well as freight service.

Among other business Tuesday, the board voted to extend the Steamship Authority’s contract with food and beverage concessionaire Centerplate, for another five years; awarded contracts for dry docking the Sankaty and purchasing diesel fuel for ferry operations and heard department head reports.