Algoma Central Corporation
St. Catharines Ontario
Shipping services, real estate
Primary market: Canada,
Number of employees: 2,100
President and CEO: Greg Wight
Algoma ships out
Canada’s natural resources-based economy has developed sophisticated transportation networks to move raw materials through supply chains to end users. Algoma Central Corporation, which operates the “largest Canadian fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers currently operating on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence (seaway),” is one of the key players.
Led by Greg Wight, who became president and CEO in 2008, after a long career in accounting, Algoma Central’s 33 vessel fleet includes 19 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, seven gearless dry-bulk carriers and seven product tankers. The fleet ships commodities, ranging from iron ore, to coal, limestone, salt, gypsum, potash and many others to a variety of North American and international customers.
Given Wight’s background as an accountant, it’s hardly surprising that his management style would be highly conservative. “Recessions are not the time for companies to be putting all their eggs in one basket,” says Wight. “So we have remained highly diversified throughout.” For example Algoma Central also runs repair and steel fabricating facilities to support its shipping operations and owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St- Catharines and Waterloo.
But being conservative does not mean being inactive. Last year, Algoma Central bought out its partners in the Seaway Marine Transport dry-bulk business, a move that should significantly boost top-line numbers going forward. The company is also taking advantage of the recent elimination of a punitive 25 percent tax on importing ships into Canada, by commissioning construction of eight new vessels in China. These should go a long way towards renewing the company’s ageing fleet during coming years.
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