Rand Logistics has entered an agreement with GATX Corporation to buy American Steamship Company (ASC) for an undisclosed amount.

A member of American Industrial Partners, Rand offers dry bulk shipping services in the Great Lakes region.

With the largest fleet of vessels in the Great Lakes, ASC transports approximately 27 million tonnes of dry bulk commodities each year.

Commodities such as iron ore, coal and limestone are transported on vessels ranging in size from 634ft to over 1,000ft.

The acquisition is expected to help the companies serve different markets with multiple self-unloading vessel classes.

Rand CEO Peter Coxon said: “We are excited about this transformative combination of two leading vessel operators on the Great Lakes.

“This strategic union will create significant additional shipping capacity through network efficiencies and repositioning of the respective fleets. All of which will allow the resulting company to further improve its customer service and offer additional flexibility and shipping capacity to its customer base.”

Rand board of directors chairman and AIP partner Jason Perri added: “ASC is an iconic American company with a rich 113-year history and an important role in moving the materials that build, sustain and drive the vast industrial capacity of the Great Lakes region.

“We are thrilled to partner with management and further increase our investment in the Great Lakes shipping and logistics ecosystem.”

In June 2019, Dutch shipping company Anthony Veder signed an agreement to acquire five gas carriers from GATX Corporation.

According to the contract, the gas tankers started operations in the company’s gas fleet in June.