Corporate History

Corporate History

Highlights of the company’s history are chronicled below.

1947 Central Gulf Steamship Corporation (Central Gulf) was founded by the late Niels F. Johnsen and his sons, Niels W. Johnsen and Erik F. Johnsen. Central Gulf purchases its first vessel, the war-built Liberty Ship SS Horatio Allen, which is renamed Green Wave.
1949 Central Gulf purchases its second vessel, war-built AP-2 Victory, the SS Ouachita Victory, which is renamed SS Green Valley.
1950 SS Green Valley becomes the first Central Gulf ship chartered to Military Sea Transportation Service.
1956 Central Gulf opens independent offices in New Orleans and New York.
1957 Central Gulf begins a liner berth service between the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and East Coast ports and ports in the Red Sea, India and Pakistan.
1963 Central Gulf contracts for the construction of its first newbuilding ship, a 48,000 DWT bulk carrier, renamed MV Baron Holberg.
1964 Central Gulf contracts for the construction of its second newbuilding ship, a 57,897 DWT tanker, renamed MT Sterling.
1967 Central Gulf contracts for the construction of the world’s first LASH ship, a 43,000 DWT vessel with 83 barge capacity, named MV Acadia Forest.
1968 Central Gulf contracts for construction of the first 233 LASH barges.Central Gulf contracts for construction of the second LASH vessel, 43,500 DWT barge carrier, named MV Atlantic Forest.
1971 Central Gulf, privately held until this year, merges with Trans Union Corporation (“Trans Union”).Central Gulf orders first 89 barge LASH vessel from a U.S. shipyard.
1972 Central Gulf contracts for the construction of two U.S. flag LASH vessels and 640 barges.Central Gulf Steamship Corporation certificate of incorporation is amended to change name to Central Gulf Lines, Inc. (CGL)
1978 International Shipholding Corporation was formed to act as a holding company in connection with the 1979 spin-off of certain shipping assets of Trans Union.
1979 International Shipholding Corporation spin-off from Trans Union Corporation (“TU”) is effected with shares distributed to existing TU shareholders and listed on NASDAQ.
1981 Central Gulf Lines enters into a 22 year contract to transport coal from Indiana to Florida by barge via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
1983 The Government’s Military Sealift Command awarded a contract to International Shipholding Corporation to operate three U.S. Flag RO/RO vessels for use by the U.S. Navy.
1986 International Shipholding Corporation enters the U.S. flag Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC) market with the construction of two PCTCs, named MV Green Lake and MV Green Bay.
1987 International Shipholding Corporation acquires the assets of Forest Lines.International Shipholding Corporation enters the international flag PCTC business with the construction of one PCTC, named MV Cypress Pass.
1988 International Shipholding Corporation contracts for the construction of a second international flag PCTC, named MV Cypress Trail.
1989 International Shipholding Corporation acquires Waterman Steamship Corporation (“WSC”) located in New York and Mobile, AL. WSC was originally founded in 1919.
1991 International Shipholding Corporation’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ISH)
1992 LITCO, a new LASH intermodal facility, constructed and owned by International Shipholding Corporation, opens in Memphis.International Shipholding Corporation enters into a transportation contract with a sulfur company to carry molten sulfur along the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The company builds a 27,241 DWT Molten Sulfur Tanker to handle the contract.
1994 International Shipholding Corporation enters into an 11-year contract to transport supplies for a mining company in Indonesia.International Shipholding Corporation purchases an existing U.S. flag conveyor built-equipped, self-loading coal carrier that was being chartered to an electric utility company, named SS Energy Independence, renamed SS Energy Enterprise.
1998 International Shipholding Corporation acquires interest in an international cement carrier company.
2001 International Shipholding Corporation begins operating CG Railway, Inc., a rail-ferry service, as an alternative to transport goods via water rather than by land through Mexico and the Southwest United States.
2003 Erik F. Johnsen succeeds Niels W. Johnsen as International Shipholding Corporation’s chairman of the board. Niels M. Johnsen replaces Erik F. Johnsen as president.
2005 International Shipholding Corporation committed to second deck conversions of CGR’s vessels, Bali Sea and Banda Sea.After Hurricane Katrina, International Shipholding Corporation temporarily relocates from New Orleans to offices in Baton Rouge, LA; Mandeville, LA; and Houston, TX.
2006 Board approves plans to relocate its corporate headquarters and CG Railway, Inc., operations to Mobile, Alabama.
2007 International Shipholding Corporation relocates its corporate headquarters to Mobile in the RSA’s Battle House Tower.International Shipholding Corporation holds its first annual meeting of the stockholders at the new corporate headquarters. Erik F. Johnsen retires as company chairman and is succeeded by Niels M. Johnsen. Erik L. Johnsen becomes president.International Shipholding Corporation contracts to construct a 6400 car equivalent unit newbuilding PCTC to be delivered in 2010.

CG Railway, Inc., completes the second deck modifications to the MV Bali Sea and MV Banda Sea vessels increasing the carrying capacity from 56 railcars to approximately 115 railcars.

2008 Alabama Governor Bob Riley presents International Shipholding Corporation the Governor’s Trade Excellence Award.International Shipholding Corporation terminates LASH Liner Services.The Board of Directors of International Shipholding Corporation received an unsolicited conditional proposal from Liberty Shipping Group LLC to purchase outstanding shares of International Shipholding Corporation’s common stock.
2009 The unsolicited conditional proposal made by Liberty Shipping Group LLC is withdrawn.International Shipholding Corporation contracts for the construction of three (3) new 36,000 deadweight ton handysize double hull dry bulk carrier vessels.
2010 International Shipholding Corporation acquired a 25% equity stake in Oslo Bulk Shipping.International Shipholding Corporation took delivery of a 6400 car equivalent PCTC, CSAV Rio Geike.International Shipholding Corporation commences quarterly earnings conference calls.
2011 International Shipholding Corporation took delivery of three newbuilds, 36,000 dwt, double hull, handysize Bulk Carriers.International Shipholding Corporation increased its stake in Dry Bulk Cape Holding, Inc. (DBCH) from 50% to 100%.International Shipholding Corporation took delivery of a 2000 built, 17,381 dwt. Multi-purpose carrier.
2012 International Shipholding Corporation took delivery of a 2012 built, 58,000wt bulk carrier.International Shipholding Corporation acquired Frascati Shops, Inc. which is a certified railcar repair shop located in Mobile, Alabama.

International Shipholding Corporation acquired 100% ownership interest in U.S. United Ocean Services, LLC, which is located in Tampa, Florida.

2013 International Shipholding Corporation Announces Closing of Public Offering Of Its 9% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock.

International Shipholding Corporation Announces Closing of Public Offering Of $25 Million Of Its 9.5% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock.


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In 2007, Niels W. Johnsen, Retired Chairman of International Shipholding Corporation, authored a book celebrating the company’s first 60 years:Not For Widows And Orphans: A Chronology of International Shipholding Corporation 1947-2007To Order the Book

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