May 31 - Fednav (Belgium) has celebrated its milestone 50th anniversary, with Mark Pathy, president and ceo of Fednav International Ltd noting that the Fednav office in Belgium has been critical to the development of the shipping company's transatlantic t

"The company, despite the challenging times for our industry, is well-positioned for the future, thanks to its modern fleet, strong balance sheet, and of course, the dedication of its employees here in Antwerp, back in Canada, and around the world.

"While Fednav is a more global operation than it was 50 years ago, we remain committed to our critical niche trades as evidenced by our recent fleet renewal programme, which includes 19 box-hold handysize newbuildings, all of which are Lakes-suitable and ice-class for year-round trading in the St. Lawrence."

Soon after the inauguration of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, and the ensuing boost in grain exports, Fednav discovered that steel products inbound offered a perfect repositioning cargo from Belgium and the regular FALLine service started. Steel was also carried from Germany, the UK, and other countries, but the epicentre always remained Antwerp.

Early on, a Fednav office was deemed necessary in Antwerp and in June 1966, Federal Commerce & Navigation (Belgium) was incorporated.

Now, 50 years later, Fednav (Belgium) N.V., or Fednav Antwerp, as it is known today, is the group's largest overseas office and continues to run the company's FALLine service for steel and general cargoes.

Coincidental to the anniversary celebrations, Fednav Antwerp also announced that the official name of FALLine, Federal Atlantic Lakes Line, would be replaced by Fednav Atlantic Lakes Line for marketing and branding purposes.

To celebrate its golden jubilee, Fednav hosted a reception at the Den Brandt Castle in Antwerp during which, a short video promoting its transatlantic liner service and its capabilities to handle heavy and out-of-gauge project cargoes was released. The video can be viewed from the home page of Fednav's website.