Our Story

Our Story

The Saltchuk Story

In 1982, eight investors came together to form a new partnership for the purpose of acquiring Totem Ocean Trailer Express, a domestic ocean-liner service to Alaska.

The 1980s: In our first decade, we grew by adding two other marine transportation companies, including a ship management firm based in Philadelphia and Foss Maritime, an iconic Pacific Northwest tug and barge operation.

The 1990s: As we entered our second decade, we had established ourselves as a strong Pacific Northwest-based maritime business. We continued to evolve by establishing an investment holding company office and acquiring additional companies that both geographically grew our maritime operations and diversified us by expanding into petroleum distribution, real estate, and air cargo.

The 2000s: As we entered our third decade, we became clearly defined as a transportation company, adding trucking, consolidation and logistics operations, and divesting of assets that were unrelated to our core transportation and distribution business.


Saltchuk has been a strong partnership since the organization was formed in 1982.  Of the six original investors, four of their families remain partners today.  These families share a core set of values, a multi-generational investment time horizon, and deep trust with one another.  Over the company’s history, together they have repeatedly put the needs and interests of Saltchuk ahead of their own.

Pivotal Moments in Saltchuk History