QSL, a leading Quebec-based company specializing in port terminal operations, stevedoring, marine services and transport, has acquired Empire Stevedoring Co. Ltd. of Montreal. This merger between two prominent Quebec maritime industry players will allow QSL to round out the range of services it offers by adding the extensive container handling expertise developed by Empire Stevedoring and increasing its geographic footprint in the Canadian and US markets. Having operated in Chicago for more than 15 years, QSL made inroads into the Gulf of Mexico market last year by acquiring facilities in Houston, Texas. Empire Stevedoring also operates in Houston, and in New Orleans, Louisiana, in addition to maintaining a strong presence in Montreal, the Great Lakes and the Atlantic provinces.

Founded in Montreal in 1931, Empire Stevedoring is a 4th generation family business. The history between the two companies goes back to 1980 when QSL founder Denis Dupuis approached Empire Stevedoring’s owner, the Chodos family, to partner in acquiring facilities in a dozen ports, which resulted in the Chodos family securing an ownership position in QSL.

Andrew Chodos will remain President & CEO of the Empire Stevedoring subsidiary which will keep its name. Robert Bellisle, President and CEO of QSL, commented “In addition to increasing our presence in the US, this transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, will allow QSL to become the only port terminal operator and stevedore to have such a significant presence in both Port of Quebec and Port of Montreal. This alliance offers promising new prospects for the future not only for the maritime industry but also for the economy of Quebec. For QSL, it represents a significant increase in its presence in the containership market with its considerable potential for the industry’s future. Quebec has all of the expertise needed to become a leader in this market segment.”

Andrew Chodos, President and CEO of Empire Stevedoring added the following: “My grandfather, Sam Chodos, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, built Empire Stevedoring one client at a time. His sense of innovation enabled him to stand out from the competition. My father, Ted, became head of the company in 1975 and expanded it significantly. I took over when my father passed away and sought to maintain this spirit of excellence and innovation. It is not easy for me to turn this page in my family’s history, but I know that Mr. Bellisle and his team will take my grandfather’s dream even further. I will support QSL in this new chapter so that it becomes a logistics chain leader.”