Fednav (Belgium) N.V. Celebrates its 50th Anniversary
Shortly after the inauguration of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959, and the growth of grain exports that followed, bulk shipper Fednav realized that incoming steel products offered ideal repositioning from Belgium, and thus was launched regular service FALLine. Steel is also transported from Germany, the U.K. and other countries, but Antwerp remained the epicenter of the activity.
Located in the Scheldt estuary, Antwerp is the breakbulk port of choice due to its central position, its connections to the Rhine and its experienced stevedores. Initially, and for many years served as general Colbelfret and sales agent for the company. From the beginning, the company decided a Fednav office in Antwerp was required and in June 1966 the Federal Commerce & Navigation (Belgium) SA was incorporated.
Fifty years later, Fednav (Belgium) NV, or Antwerp Fednav, as it is called today, is the largest overseas office of the Canadian-headquartered company and continues to lead the steel transport FALLine service and general merchandise.
The Belgian office has commercial services, operations and documentation, as well as its own superintendents loading. A network of independent booking agents located throughout Europe, some of which are working with the company for 50 years, covering the continent and reports to Fednav Antwerp. As part of the additional responsibilities of this office, the sales department has developed chartering activity, while service operations ensures management of all vessels plying the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.
In 2015, FALLine operated 70 voyages with steel, breakbulk, and general cargoes between the European continent and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.