Ceres Terminals Incorporated has an illustrious history that began in 1958. This was an exciting time in maritime history when the St. Lawrence Seaway was opening and presented great business opportunities. Chicago was predicted to be the largest general cargo port in the Great Lakes Region and the influx of cargo ships coming to the port would need professional stevedores and terminal operators to handle them. This area offered enormous potential so it was here that Ceres Terminals Incorporated was established.
The Ceres namesake is the Roman Goddess of Agriculture. It was inspired by the statue of the goddess perched on top of Chicago's tallest art deco building in the world (outside of NYC), the Board of Trade. The name suited the company perfectly for Ceres' first operation handled grain.
After the Seaway opened in 1959, Ceres handled over 50% of the total grain volume in Chicago. From 1959 to 1962, Ceres expanded to Duluth, Milwaukee and Toledo where the company was also doing general cargo stevedoring. In 1963, a Ceres office opened in Canada where it handled grain in Montreal. A turning point came with a request from a customer, Fjell Orange Consortium. They wanted Ceres to work their ships in a general cargo operation in Montreal. Overnight, Ceres became one of the largest stevedoring companies in Montreal.
Ceres moved from its base of operations in Chicago to the Port of Baltimore in 1979. From there, it expanded to Hampton Roads, Virginia after acquiring Nacirema from Ted Lavino and John T. Clark from Hutchison Wampoa. Thereafter, it continued its expansion to the U.S. South Atlantic and Gulf Ports of Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and Houston. In 1982, Ceres became a container operator in Montreal with Atlantic Container Line as its first container customer. That same year, Ceres signed a long-term lease agreement with the Halifax Port Authority and secured 55% of the Port’s volume in the first year of operation. Four years later, Ceres and Logistec formed Termont Terminal in Montreal.
As the Company expanded, each Ceres port location required recognition by region of operation. Ceres restructured by adding subsidiary companies: Cerescorp Company (Canada); Ceres Terminals Incorporated (Corporate); Ceres Marine Terminals (South Atlantic) and Ceres Gulf (Gulf). Ceres had finally reached its pinnacle of success and became one of the leaders in stevedoring and terminal operations in North America.
Ceres continued to expand its horizons into the international arena. In 2002, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) of Tokyo purchased Ceres. Ceres operates as a wholly owned subsidiary in the Harbour Division of the NYK Group. Since that time, Ceres established its corporate headquarters in East Brunswick, New Jersey and achieved strength through diversification. It has experienced rapid growth in both the cargo handling and cruise sectors. The majority of Ceres’ business consists of Containers, RORO, Automobiles, Breakbulk, Bulk and Project cargoes as well as managing world class container terminals in North America.
As part of its corporate expansion strategy, Ceres reached out and expanded its Cruise Operations throughout North America, with its first major Cruise Operation in Vancouver, B.C. Ceres has been steadily acquiring new long-term Stevedoring and Cruise Terminal Management contracts. The Company has a very strong Cruise Management Team with extensive cruise experience and connections. Ceres’ investment has paid off as it is now one of the leading Cruise Stevedores and Terminal Operators in North America.
Ceres Terminals Incorporated has developed a distinguished, quality track record that is unsurpassed in the Transportation Industry. The Company's drive, determination and commitment to excellence are reinforced by the people of Ceres who make customer satisfaction a daily objective. They carry on Ceres' effectiveness, efficiency and reliability and maintain a strong course into the future.