Centerline and Saltchuk Swap Bunkering and Ship Assist Assets

File image courtesy Centerline

Published Dec 30, 2020 5:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a pair of transactions announced this week, Seattle-based Centerline Logistics (formerly Harley Marine) and Seattle-based Saltchuk Group announced that they have exchanged assets - a transfer of bunker barges for harbor tugs. 

Centerline announced Monday that it has completed a "major acquisition" in buying Saltchuk subsidiary Foss Maritime's bunkering business in California, "strengthening Centerline’s position as a best-in-class provider of around-the-clock bunkering services." The deal sees Centerline taking over six Foss-operated bunker barges, along with Foss' existing customer contracts. The fleet adds to Centerline's eight existing bunker barges in the ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco. There will be a short transition period in which Foss will continue to operate the bunker barges before Centerline takes operational control.

On the same day, Saltchuk announced that it has acquired Centerline Logistics’ harbor ship assist operations in California and the Pacific Northwest. Eight ship assist tugs in Centerline's Millenium and Starlight brands will join the Saltchuk portfolio, and they will be consolidated into the Starlight brand. Oakland-based Starlight will remain independently-operated, and will continue to manage, dispatch and crew its own tugs. In an arrangement comparable to the barge transfer, Centerline will continue to operate the tugs on Saltchuk's behalf for a short period. 

The acquisition adds to Saltchuk's existing ship-assist and tug brand in the San Francisco Bay, Amnav, which has its own dock and headquarters facility in Oakland. Saltchuk's Foss division, headquartered in Seattle, also has a regional facility in the Bay Area.

“This transaction strengthens the Saltchuk Marine family of companies. We are pleased to expand our capacity in both California and the Pacific Northwest, enabling us to grow our portfolio of safe, reliable, competitive ship assist services.” said Jason Childs, CEO of Saltchuk Marine.