Fesco Celebrates Its 130th Anniversary

JOC Staff |

SEATTLE, Washington – FESCO (Far Eastern Shipping Company), Russia’s largest private intermodal transportation provider, announced today that it will celebrate its 130th anniversary this month.

According to Mike Evans, president of FESCO Agencies North America, a division of FESCO Transportation Group, the Company has grown from a regional shipping operator to a global logistics provider between North America, Europe, South-East Asia, Russia and the CIS. “We are spearheading the integration of Russian transportation into the global landscape. Today we are Russia’s largest private intermodal transportation group, providing a full range of logistical solutions through a combination of shipping, rail, trucking and port services.”

Highlights of FESCO include: a full spectrum of forwarding services for container, breakbulk, oversize/overweight and specialized cargo; door-to-door delivery; refrigerated handling; Russia’s largest container, dry bulk and ro-ro operator; a fleet of 51 vessels; Russia’s second largest private railcar operator and rail logistics provider; and one of Russia’s largest players in the port market with a total annual capacity of 1.8 million TEUs for container cargo and over 6 million tons of breakbulk cargo.

“The full range of logistics services that FESCO provides today is a result of a strong desire to further expand the solutions we supply to the many clients who utilize FESCO Transportation Group. Our continued success depends, in large part, on further expansion and we have the financial backing for it,” he said.

“But there’s one thing left unchanged: our values and traditions of commitment to highest standards of quality, safety, and integrity,” noted Evans. “Just like 130 years ago, we strive to constantly enhance the range of services we offer, reduce delivery times and optimize costs. We are committed to providing modern solutions, meeting today’s challenges and contributing to the competitiveness of our clients both domestically and internationally.”
FESCO’s Fascinating History

FESCO, which became a fully privatized company in 1992, has a fascinating history. In 1880, its first vessel, the Moskwa, steamed out of Odessa to the Russian Far East. On board were 90 Russian seafarers, a thousand tons of foodstuff and manufactured goods, and the first two passengers to sail to Vladivostok.

A direct descendant of Imperial Russia's Volunteer Fleet, FESCO brought the first settlers to Russia's Eastern seaboard and supplied them with many of life's necessities. Without the efforts of the Volunteer Fleet, which until the end of the 19th Century served as Western Russia's sole link to the East, development of the region's economy, culture and defense could not have proceeded.

Before the trans-Siberian railroad was completed, this water route was the Russian Far East's only connection to central portions of the country. The early history of FESCO was under the banner of Dobrovolniy Fleet Company. The FESCO name came into being in the early 1900s when Dobrovolniy merged with the Vladivostok Arctic Shipping Company. Another merger followed in the 1930s with Brynner Shipping Company - founded by actor Yul Brynner's grandfather. Brynner's childhood home is now part of FESCO's corporate headquarters in Vladivostok. In 1934, the company was renamed Far Eastern Shipping Company.

In World War II, FESCO sailors made a very significant contribution to the country's victory. FESCO vessels were directly involved with liberating Korea, China, Sakhalin and the Kuriles, losing a total of 25 vessels during the war. In the post-war years, FESCO played a significant part in restoration of the nation. The fleet was continually modernized and expanded to include specialized cargo vessels, passenger liners, and powerful icebreakers.

During this 130th anniversary, FESCO will celebrate its past, but more importantly Evans says, will focus on continuing its quest for quality, along with its growth in the Pacific trades. “We are very thankful for our strong support from our partners which have allowed us to expand further in the markets we serve. We truly value the relationships with all our major direct importers and exporters, in addition transportation intermediaries, including forwarders, NVOCC and 3PL/4PL companies. We are looking forward to celebrating a strong and prosperous future.”

Established in 1880, The Far Eastern Shipping Company PLC (FESCO) is based in Vladivostok and is one of Russia's major shipping companies. This year marks the company’s 130th anniversary.

FESCO is a multimodal transport holding company and one of the largest marine carriers and container providers in Russia. FESCO operates 47 vessels and 4 icebreakers and is Russia’s largest container, dry bulk and roll on/roll off operator. FESCO is the second largest privately-held railcar operator in the Russian Federation and is further expanding into terminal and port ownership in Western and Far East Russia and the Black Sea.