Historical Evolution

Shipping activities have always represented one of the major lines of business of the IBL Group and of its former constituent entities.

Blyth Brothers, Ireland Fraser and Adam & Cie. have long been the local agents for hitherto very familiar names in the liner sector :

Messageries Impériales (subsequently Messageries Maritimes, thence CGM, until its absorption within the CMA CGM Group), Union Casle Line, Clan Line, Ellerman Lines, Harrison Lines, Bank Line, Nouvelle Compagnie Havraise Péninsulaire (NCHP) and its regional subsidiaries (until their take-over by Delmas, thence by the CMA CGM Group), DDG Hansa, Hapag Lloyd, KPM & KJCPL (subsequently Royal Interocean Lines, thence Nedlloyd Lines - until the merger with P & O Lines and later integration within the Maersk Group), Lykes Lines, Safmarine, Mitsui OSK Lines - to name but a few among the most prominent.

These lines have, for decades, provided regular cargo services to all major ports of the world and constituted the main import/export links to/from Mauritius. Passenger services were also provided, mainly to/from Europe, East Asia, Africa & Indian Ocean islands and Oceania.

The advent of containerisation and the ensuing consolidation in the liner sector have profoundly modified the picture and, to-day, but a few carriers operate regular services to/from Mauritius and to our region.

IBL has also been active as a ship owner and ship operator, specially during the second half of the 20th century.

It was present on regional liner trades through the deployment of multi-purpose vessels operating within the NCHP ambit (m/s Ville de Port-Louis, m/s Ville de Curepipe, m/s Ville de Mahebourg, m/s Flamboyant, m/s Tamarin, m/s Filaos), in bulk shipping (m/s City of Port Louis) and in cruising (m/s Astor).

IBL also entered the reefer trades (m/s Pelamis, m/s Mazara, m/s Aster) for the transportation of frozen tuna and fruits, as well as the fishing sector (f/v Etelis, f/v Sainte Rita).

Through its 50% ownership of Société de Gérance Maritime, IBL were the technical managers of two State-owned passenger/cargo vessels operating on inter-island routes. IBL also provided crew management services to a number of foreign vessel owners.

At the turn of the last century, IBL diversified its activities to the seafood sector and to shipbuilding/ship repair. Whilst most of the recent investments in shipping, port and related activities have focussed on these new segments, the IBL Group has maintained its overall presence in the Maritime sector.