Boluda Acquires Resolve’s Gibraltar Towing to Expand Service Offering

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Boluda Towage, one of the divisions of Spain’s Boluda Corporacion Maritima, is continuing to expand its services and consolidate the towage industry announcing that it acquired the towing operations of Resolve Salvage and Fire (Gibraltar). The company said that the acquisition continues its international expansion in key markets and strengthens its strategic presence for maritime transport in the critical Strait of Gibraltar.

The company highlights that the Strait of Gibraltar is one of the areas with the highest density of navigation in the world making towage services critical to shipowners and operators. More than 100,000 ships pass through the area each year. Further, with the shipping industry now diverting around Africa due to the problems in the Red Sea, Gibraltar becomes the key European port for departures as well as the first European port after the transit along the West Coast of Africa.

Boluda Towage has been operating for many years on both sides of the strait both in Europe in Cadiz, Algeciras, and Gibraltar, as well as on the North African coast in Ceuta and Tangier. The acquisition of the towing operation from Resolve Marine adds four tugboats, Elliot, Hercules, Rooke, and Wellington, to Boluda’s global fleet, while also increasing its service and support potential and capacity in the strait. Boluda Towage reports through the acquisition it will have a greater capacity for intervention in the region.

“The Port of Gibraltar operations have been part of the Resolve Marine family since 2015. We are excited that Boluda Towage Europe saw the enormous value of a business that serves the Port of Gibraltar, adding to its portfolio of towage services in major global ports,” said Joseph Farrell III, Deputy CEO of Resolve Marine. Resolve noted that it was also selling its marine services business to Elias Tapiero of ORC Marine.

Tugboats the companies note are essential for the optimization of operations in the area both due to the volume of traffic and the prevailing weather conditions. The area around the Gibraltar Strait has strong and variable tides, powerful easterly and westerly winds, and frequent fogbanks due to the high temperatures. 

The expansion in Gibraltar continues Boluda’s growth in 2024. Last month they also commenced towage operations at the Egyptian Abu Qir’s Container Terminal with three powerful tugs as part of its efforts to strengthen its presence in the Middle East. It also started operations in the ports of Limón and Moín, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Boluda, a family-owned company, started its port tug activities in Valencia, Spain in 1920 and in recent years has been a leader in the consolidation of the industry. In 2017, Boluda acquired the German towage companies of Unterweder Reederei and Lutgens & Reimers. Subsequently, they acquired Kotug Smit Towage from Boskalis as well as the harbor and offshore activities of Iskes Towage & Salvage, and Caledonian Towage of Scotland. A year ago, they also reached an agreement to acquire Smit Lamnalco, the world’s fifth-largest towage operator. They reported the combined operations would have a fleet of more than 600 tugboats operating in 50 countries and serving 148 ports.

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