Rand Logistics subsidiary, Lower Lakes Towing, has acquired two conventional bulk carriers from the Voyageur group of companies for C$25 million (approx. US$23.7m). The subsidiary has also entered into a contract of affreightment with Voyageur for the exclusive use of a third vessel and secured an option to acquire this vessel for C$5 million.
Lower Lakes management has negotiated or assumed long-term contracts with existing and new customers, primarily in the grain industry, for these vessels.
According to Lower Lakes Towing president & CEO Scott Bravener, these vessels diversify the company’s revenue and customer base, and substantially expand its capacity in a market where demand exceeds supply.
“The customer contracts we have signed cover the full capacity of the two acquired vessels and the majority of the third vessel,” said Bravener. “We are transferring a portion of our self-unloading business to these vessels, enabling us to pursue additional self-unloading cargo opportunities and maximise the utilisation rates on the newly added vessels. The vessels also enable further penetration of our existing grain customers.”
He pointed out that the timing of the vessel purchase is opportune, and the are entering service at the beginning of the most profitable months of the grain shipping season.