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 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 grew our maritime operations geographically and diversified us by expanding into real estate.

The 2000s: As we entered our third decade, we became clearly defined as a transportation company. We welcomed air cargo and energy distribution companies and divesting assets unrelated to our core transportation and distribution business.

The 2010s: In the company’s fourth decade, the business further diversified by adding international shipping operations throughout the Caribbean and creating a stand-alone business unit for logistics operations.

The 2020s: Although we’re just getting started, the decade begins with continued growth in all areas of the business, including expansion of our energy distribution in the Western U.S. and support of U.S. offshore wind development on the East Coast.


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

A graphic of Saltchuk's timeline of growth and diversification