The Early Years

The Columbia Group of Companies was founded in 1990 with its successful all-water container barge service, Columbia Coastal Transport. The company began with one barge and one service operating between New York and Boston. Twenty years later, the company is recognized as the premier container barge feeder operator in the U.S., and the greenest and most efficient mode of container transportation available today.

Growth of the U.S. Flag Barge Service

Under the leadership of Bruce Fenimore, President and CEO, Columbia Coastal continued to expand its reliable weekly services all along the Atlantic seaboard, operating as many as 11 barges at one time connecting multiple US ports. The company also gained expertise in handling project cargo, government and military cargoes. Presently, the company operates four US-flag barges engaged in services in the Mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake regions.

Diversification into Landside Port Services

In 2002, in an effort to diversify the business, Columbia Group acquired the operating assets of Palmer Industries, Inc. and renamed the company, Columbia Container Services (CCS). As a result of the acquisition, CCS became a well-established provider of off-dock container/trailer storage, handling, trucking and repairs in the Port of New York/New Jersey. CCS also runs a first-class off-dock terminal for Maher Terminals in Port Newark, and a similar operation in the Port of Boston. These well managed facilities lessen port congestion, create faster equipment turn-around times, and increase port productivity by removing non-essential equipment from the terminal.

As demand for the trucking of empty containers grew, Columbia Group established Columbia Intermodal (CI), the trucking and chassis pool management arm of the business. In Port Newark, Columbia Intermodal operates a fleet of trucks for container repositioning and for other services as needed. In the Port of Boston, CI manages their off-site chassis pool.

New Ownership and Direction

In September of 2008, principals Bruce Fenimore, President and CEO, and John Armstrong, Executive Vice President, acquired all three Columbia Group companies. Their key objectives are to successfully position the company to meet the rapidly changing demands of the shipping industry, by providing quality performance in all services, to successfully meet the expected cargo volume increases on the U.S. east and gulf coasts.