McCaughrin Maritime Marine Systems, Inc., (MMMSI) is
owned by Brian R. McCaughrin who is the Founder, President, & Owner and turned 50 on
March 11. McCaughrin Maritime Marine Systems, Inc., was established on January
26, 1996 in Lansing, Michigan as a private enterprise with the specific ideas of
developing a unique way of transporting specialized cargoes inside container within hours
to the customers by using the latest technologically advanced vessels for the market
McCaughrins plan is to make the Midwest region the
"global trading center of the world" by utilizing the lower Great Lakes, the St.
Lawrence Seaway and, in the off-season when the seaway is closed, the Port of Baltimore,
Maryland. MMMSI will begin a trade between two Baltic State Ports and the Port of Windsor,
Ontario, Canada. MMMSI plans on two trips per month. The cost is very
competitive. MMMSI was offering "One Stop Shopping" Door to Door Service.
By June 1, 1996, MMMSI had close to 15 different contracts to bid on for the movement of
different size cargoes around the Great Lakes and also to Europe. McCaughrin was
looking for second hand equipment on the lakes, but none was available so McCaughrin went
to the ocean brokers for vessels. McCaughrin was able to work out a limited time
charter contract for a ship of 145 meters in length, based on the type of cargo being
delivered. The company: Baltic Lines of St. Petersburg, Russia was
setting sail with the MV.Tostongov a multi-purpose container vessel. By September
30, 1996, Baltic Lines Limited were broke over night arresting ship and holding cargoes
January 1, 1997, McCaughrin decided to make a conscious effort to re-group his company
and wait a year before launching the name: "McCaughrin" again in global
competition. McCaughrin began to carefully investigate different approaches in the
ways cargoes were being traded on the Great Lakes in general. The movement of
specialize heavy lift cargoes to big for truck were instead put on rails and taken to the
U.S. East Coast to the bigger ships. McCaughrin found a company that had the vessels he
needed for these specialize heavy lift cargoes: Baltic Lines, the same company that
beheaded him a year before. Baltic Lines Limited, now in receivership, had 200
vessels tied up all over Europe, Russia, and Canada. McCaughrin was looking for a specific
ship called Lo/Ro Multi-Purpose. This ship has a ramp on its starboard stern and heavy
lift cranes on the main deck and can carry 553/20' containers beside motorized vehicles.
It was the biggest thing and could not fit into the seaway yet! McCaughrin
saw this as the ship of the future. It had different holds that could be divided up into
more cargo holds and carrying still different specialize cargoes!
MMMSI was successful in getting the Multi-purpose Lo/Ro vessel: Lima, a
145-meter ship with 17,850 ton capacity. The Seaway Authority accepted it on
September 21, 1997, ayear before its scheduled acceptance. The MV. Lima is
owned by InterOrient Navigation Company Limited of Limmsol, Cyprus. McCaughrin began
negotiations of getting MV. Limas and MV. Montreal into position in time for the
specification to be met by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority.
Owners gave MMMSI the green light on
November 1997. MMMSI hired Canadian firm: Mount Royal / Walsh, Inc., of Montreal,
Quebec Canada to confirm ship specifications. McCaughrin, Seaway Authority
Officials, and private inspectors went on board while the vessel was being unloaded in
Montreal and spent nearly 8 hours measuring every piece of equipment that was critical to
the fitting into the Seaway Lock.
On February 28, 1998, owners of Inter Orient Navigations Company Limited broke off all
negotiations with MMMSI officials. The time charter of the MV.Montreal and the
MV.Lima was awarded to a competing carrier the next day. Again, in less than a year,
MMMSI had to cancel it's start up date.
March 1, 1998, the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority sent MMMSI owners a fax on a new
carrier coming into the Seaway with plans of a more advanced multi-purpose ship design
that would fit into the Seaway without excessive modification. This
Netherlands firm, who has over 150 years in maritime shipping, was marketing the Great
Lakes area for a specific niche operation with smaller vessel then what other companies
were bringing in. This company called: Wagenborg Shipping B.V. of Delfzijl,
Netherlands was sailing there newest vessel, MV.Markborg 132 meters vessel with carrying
capacity of 9,000 tons deadweight and carrying capacity of total of 603 / 20' containers.
On April 2, 1998 a deal was struck with between Wagenborg and MMMSI. McCaughrin
and officials fully inspected this vessel when it arrived May 2, 1998 at Nicholson
Terminal & Dock Company in River Rouge, Michigan. Wagenborg Shipping Limited B.V.
struck a deal with MMMSI for the usage of two multi-purpose vessel in the 132 meter range
for the following shipping season. Wagenborg was building 10 new vessels of the same
specifications as the MV.Markborg.