Foss Maritime celebrating its 125th anniversary in June

Seattle’s Foss Maritime is celebrating its 125th anniversary in June with a special celebration and the publication of a limited edition book documenting the marine transportation and harbor services company’s history.

Thea Foss founded the company in Tacoma, Wash., in 1889 with a single rowboat. Today, the company serves customers around the world, operating over 130 vessels and employing 1,500 people.

 “We have great and strong traditions here at Foss, and the hard work and creative thinking of our employees has propelled us to where we are today,” says Paul Stevens, Foss president and CEO, in a company news release.

Over the past 125 years, Foss Maritime has grown out of its humble beginnings into a global company that offers a wide range of marine services. Today, the company says, Foss continues to pursue growth opportunities in a variety of areas, such as expanding its scope of services and clients in Alaska and the Arctic. The company has already been involved in a number of projects for major oil companies in the past few years, and Foss says three Arctic-class tugs currently under construction at the Rainier Shipyard will only enhance the company’s Arctic capabilities.

Foss’ Seattle shipyard, traditionally involved in maintenance and repair work, expanded into new-vessel construction in early 2014, further diversifying the company’s business, the company says. As a result, employment at Foss Seattle shipyard ascended to its highest levels ever, with about 265 welders, electricians, carpenters and other craftsmen on the job there since November 2013.

In addition, Foss’ Rainier, Ore., shipyard recently expanded its footprint by 11,000 square feet with the construction of a bulkhead and other support services.

Recent major construction accomplishments include: the new Sanpoil ferry, a 20-car aluminum-hulled vessel with advanced technology for cleaner air constructed in partnership with Washington state and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the pilot boat Connor Foss built with increased stability and efficiency to replace the aging Arrow 2 on the Columbia River at Astoria, Ore.

Two state of the art fireboats are currently under construction at the Seattle shipyard. The first was recently christened and construction has already commenced on the second.

Foss has also been at the forefront of delivering emergency aid and providing necessary assistance in recent years, the company says, most notably during the devastating natural disasters in Haiti and the U.S. East Coast. The company delivered nearly 80,000 tons of food aid in 4,000 containers over eight-months to Haiti, and gathered relief supplies, helped resolve flooded areas and provided power to affected locations after Hurricane Sandy.

To honor the company’s growth and change over the last decades, Foss says, the company is marking the occasion with a special celebration in June, and the publication of a limited edition book about the company’s history, dedicated to Foss’ hard working and talented employees.

Foss says the anniversary book features an exquisite collection of historical photos and inspiring stories revealing the company’s rich history and current activities, both locally and around the world. It will be available for purchase on the Foss website.  

 “The future looks bright to us,” says Stevens, “We are looking forward to the next 125 years with both enthusiasm and excitement.”

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