Back to CargoM – Newsletter Summer 2019
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The CSL Group, a multinational company based in Montreal, is an international leader in bulk shipping and transhipment. The company also owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of self-unloading vessels, specialized ships with on-board cargo handling systems which enable them to discharge without relying on shore-based equipment.

In particular, these vessels enable us to provide self-unloading and transhipment solutions that give our customers a competitive edge in each of our operating regions – Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas.

The best example is our Canadian entity, Canada Steamship Lines, which operates a modern, multi-purpose fleet of self-unloaders and bulk carriers on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

These ships provide a fast unloading rate and low infrastructure and labor requirements, which makes them an effective and competitive bulk unloading solution that helps reduce costs and minimize environmental impacts. That’s why very early on in the company’s history, these reliable, safe and efficient vessels became a symbol of CSL’s commitment to innovation.

The CSL Group can trace its beginnings all the way back to 1845, when it owned only one steamboat on the Richelieu River. In 1913, 11 shipping companies, including Richelieu & Ontario (R & O) merged, creating the Canada Steamship Lines we know today. This historic merger forever changed the landscape of Canada’s merchant navy.

The company began with a modest fleet made up of a few bulk carriers and cruise ships. Soon after, the industrial revolution of the beginning of the 20th century brought about many growth opportunities, particularly in the transport of minerals, leading to a period of growth for the company.

In the sixties, Canada Steamship Lines reinvented itself. The company divested its cruise ships to focus on bulk transport. By redoubling its investments in self-unloading technology, sent a powerful message to its clients and competitors alike : the future is innovation.

In the decades that followed, Canada Steamship Lines expanded its fleet by adding various new bulk carriers and self-unloaders, allowing it to take its place as a flagship shipping company. CSL’s pledge to safety and respect for the environment was put front and center, quickly becoming one of the cornerstones of the company’s strategy.

This same expertise is used to develop the international market in the 1990s. Starting with the United States, the CSL Group developed operations abroad, setting up in Europe, Asia and eventually Australia.

CSL has also adapted its gravity-fed self-unloading technology to other sectors, including cement transportation and high volume transhipment. This technique, by which a self-unloading ship transfers its cargo into a larger vessel, allows for greater versatility for customers while going beyond the highest standards of safety and environmental stewardship.

Today, the CSL Group serves a multitude of clients on five continents thanks to its efficient, responsible, innovative and safe solutions. The worldwide fleet is composed of 56 vessels (9 in co-ownership), 17 of which sail the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, and the company employs nearly 1,500 people. The CSL Group is proud to allow local companies to export their resources to international markets, contributing to Québec and Canada’s economic growth. But above all, the CSL Group is proud to do all this from right here in Montreal.

Back to CargoM – Newsletter Summer 2019
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