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History of Chowgule Steamships Limited

Chowgule Steamships Limited (CSL) was incorporated in April 1963, with the main objective of meeting the transportation needs of iron ore exports of Chowgule & Company Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of the Group. Initially, CSL started its operations with three liberty type ships, which were soon replaced with modern bulk carriers to respond to the emerging market needs.

With the changing fortunes of the steel industry and the corresponding effects it brought about in the transportation of iron ore through larger vessels, CSL’s vessels had to start tramping in the international market. By early 1980’s, virtually all the ships of CSL were deployed on the international cross trades.

CSL has consistently adopted to changing shipping scenario by rationalizing its fleet, acquiring modern fuel-efficient and market oriented vessels. Over the years, CSL placed orders for new buildings of Handysize and Panamax bulk cariers, mainly to participate in the international tramping trade.

In the last four decades of existence, CSL had a number of FIRSTS in the Shipping Sectors, viz. the first Indian bulk carrier built for an Indian owner named m.v. Maratha Progress was for the account of CSL. Similarly, the first Indian phosphoric acid carrier, converted out of a dry bulk carrier, was also the brain child of CSL.

Another area in which CSL’s contribution to the national shipping has been the coastal movement of cargo, particularly in responding to the needs of the Group’s erstwhile cement company through transportation of clinker to the split plants at Ratnagiri as well as Magdalla. This has resulted in the development of minor ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra which certainly has provided a path for others to follow.

CSL’s International fleet tonnage including that of its wholly owned foreign subsidiary totals to 1,91,696 DWT consisting of two Panamx vessels and one handymax vessel with an average age of 13 years. The vessels are engaged in time charters with reputed international charterers, moving bulk cargoes like iron ore, grain, coal, fertilizers, etc.

CSL’s Coastal fleet consists of three mini bulk carriers totalling to 8,980 DWT. The average age of these vessels is 10 years. These vessels participate in coastal movement of cargoes like cement clinker, bauxite, steel coils, food grains, industrial salt, etc.

During the last over four decades of the Company’s business, it has built a team of experienced professionals to meet challenges of a promising future of the Shipping Industry, particularly for the dry bulk sector.

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