Sea Logistics

FreightWaves Classics: Crowley Maritime Corporation… from a single rowboat to


On the Crowley Maritime Corporation website is a statement by Thomas Crowley, Jr., the company’s Chairman and CEO: “In 1892, my grandfather, Thomas Crowley, bought a Whitehall rowboat and went into business for himself shuttling personnel and supplies between the San Francisco waterfront and the tall sailing ships that would anchor in San Francisco Bay. From these humble beginnings grew the company we know today as Crowley Maritime Corporation.”

The company’s describes itself as: “Crowley is a privately held, U.S.-owned and operated logistics, government, marine and energy solutions company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Services are provided worldwide by four primary business units – Crowley Logistics, Crowley (Government) Solutions, Crowley Shipping and Crowley Fuels.”

Over the course of almost 130 years, the company has continually expanded geographically and into new lines of business. It now employs more than 6,300 employees worldwide and generates annual revenues of more than $2.5 billion. 

According to the company website, Crowley “owns, operates and/or manages a fleet of more than 200 vessels.” The range of vessels is impressive: roll-on-roll-off (RO/RO) vessels; lift-on-lift-off (LO/LO) vessels; articulated tug-barges (ATBs); liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered container/roll-on, roll-off ships (ConRos); and multi-purpose tugboats and barges. In addition, the company has a variety of land-based facilities and equipment, including “port terminals, warehouses, tank farms, gas stations, office buildings, trucks, trailers, containers, chassis, cranes and other specialized vehicles.”

In 2008 Crowley Holdings Inc., the holding company for Crowley’s business lines and subsidiaries, was created. The company is owned by the Crowley family and the company’s employees.

The company has four key business lines, each of which provides a wide variety of services. They are profiled below. 

A Crowley container vessel at dockside. (Photo: Crowley)
A Crowley container vessel at dockside. (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Logistics

Crowley Logistics offers “single-source, full-cycle supply chain management solutions linking Central America, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and the U.S.”

Among the services that Crowley Logistics provides are: ocean shipping, land transportation, managed transportation, vehicle shipping, warehousing and cargo insurance. Specialized services include cold chain, oversized/NIT, Cuba Express and pack-and-ship. Among the key industries that Crowley Logistics serves are construction, perishables, automotive, healthcare, retail, hospitality and apparel.

An off-shore wind farm. (Photo: Crowley)
An off-shore wind farm. (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Solutions

Crowley has been serving governmental departments and agencies throughout its history (“at home and abroad, in peacetime and war”). Among its clients are the U.S. Department of Defense and its U.S. Transportation Command, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal and state agencies.

Crowley Solutions provides a variety of services in the following broad categories: expeditionary logistics; supply chain solutions; maritime solutions; energy solutions; and technology solutions. 

A Crowley tanker sails on. (Photo: Crowley)
A Crowley tanker sails on. (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Shipping

Crowley Shipping offers a diverse range of solutions to its clients. The solutions “span: the design, construction management and operation of vessels; to ship assist and tanker escort services; to offshore energy installations and project management, to operating and managing petroleum tank vessels and global cargo ships.”

The company operates/manages the largest fleet of American-flagged petroleum and chemical tank vessels. Its fleet has a combined capacity of more than 12 million barrels. 

Among the services this division of Crowley provides are: offshore energy services and project management; offshore wind; engineering services; deep-sea petroleum and chemical transportation; global ship…



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