Against All Odds
Through wise asset management, perseverance and a commitment to do things better, Grand River Navigation, in conjunction with Lower Lakes Towing, challenged the status quo and we now play an integral role in the Great Lakes shipping industry today.
While other companies were downsizing their fleets and exiting the river class segment of the market, Grand River was picking up the slack by continuously expanding its services.
At a time when competitors were reaffirming their corporate structure, Grand River was building upon the family based origins and close knit ties in the marine industry. The company continues to build upon and advocate that family culture, which humanizes the workplace, creates a team-work environment where camaraderie means having each other’s back and celebrating opportunities. Our management team and our employees have successfully established a foundation of trust and a cultural promise to perform with purpose and the healthier whole in mind. This extends to our long standing relationships with customers, allowing us to maintain meaningful connections and becoming a valuable resource to one another. In the end, it’s about leadership and the ability to manage the moving parts and sustain momentum.
Finding the Sweet Spot
Although a family culture is a big part of our success, some of the story of the success of Grand River Navigation is our ships. Many of them are steeped in colorful histories of their own. Our ships have often been rejected by others as past their prime, but we have invested extensively in these ships to allow them to be efficient contributing members in the shipping industry. We use our crew more efficiently through automation and flexible work arrangements. This allows us to be the most cost-effective operator of river class vessels on the Great Lakes.
Underdog on Top
In 2006, Grand River Navigation was acquired by Rand Logistics. This access to capital has enabled us to continue our growth trajectory. We have become the single largest provider of river class transportation on the Great Lakes. Our ships, the majority of which are river-class, can easily access ports of call that many of the larger self-unloading transports cannot. “We can go where the big ships go and also where they can’t!”
In our more than 14 years of operation, a few things have stayed consistent, our professional management team, our long-standing industry relationships and our well maintained fleet – all together providing considerable competitive advantages. This company is about perseverance, and Grand River Navigation has thrived as it enters into a new chapter in its proud history.