Port of Vancouver: the Ocean Group trumps a naval giant

Groupe Océan outweighs the naval giant Seaspan in its territory by winning a major ten-year contract to provide towing services at the Port of Vancouver. An agreement that could bring tens of millions of dollars to the Quebec company.

“This major new agreement with the Port of Vancouver consolidates our development and growth efforts in Western Canada,” said Jacques Tanguay, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Ocean Group won this contract after winning a call for tenders launched last year by the Port of Vancouver.

Ocean Group tugs during an operation in Vancouver.


Ocean Group tugs during an operation in Vancouver.

The company will be responsible from July for serving the two Roberts Bank terminals, Deltaport and Westshore Terminals, which have been in the hands of Seaspan, one of the largest shipyards in the country, since 1975.

The management says it has stood out from its competitors thanks to its tugs equipped with “more environmental engines”, its “competitive rates” and its “relations with the First Nations”.

“It’s a strategic positioning that is very important to us. […] Seaspan is very big in the West, ”said Philippe Filion, director of public and corporate affairs, to the Journal.

Thanks to this contract, the Ocean Group will increase its fleet of harbor tugs from six to eight in the Vancouver area, in British Columbia. These ships will be equipped with a fire fighting system.

Employees of the Ocean team in Vancouver.


Employees of the Ocean team in Vancouver.

Promising market

The maritime company from Quebec has been ardently seeking to expand in Vancouver since March 2020. Management still wants to increase its presence there. Currently, 25 employees work there.

“This is one of our territories where we see the most growth. We’re not just targeting harbor towage, we’ve just finished one of our biggest lifetime mechanical dredging contracts in Prince-Rupert. We are prospecting for other contracts,” said Mr. Fillion.

Last year, the company purchased Samson Tugboats for several million dollars to support the growth of its subsidiary Ocean BC Towing. This transaction took the Fraser River by storm.

Recall that in 2018, the Ocean Group had spent $28 million to build two tugs for its needs at the Port of Vancouver.

Like other markets in the sights of the Quebec company specializing in ship repairs, towing and port transport, management is still looking to expand across the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Ocean Group, which has nearly 950 employees, is currently working on the construction of four large tugs for National Defence. A contract worth more than $100 million.


1 thought on “Port of Vancouver: the Ocean Group trumps a naval giant”

  1. Seaspan Marine seems to be going in a different direction. Most of their newer executives are former railway company managers who appear to only see the one track in front of them.


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