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New York Harbor in 1860 – The Moran Story Begins

The seeds for the Moran Towing Company were first sown in 1850 when young and determined Michael Moran, an Irish immigrant newly arrived in the United States, takes his first step into marine transportation work by driving a mule-pulled barge along the Erie Canal.

After saving his money for several years, in 1855 at the age of 22, Michael accumulates enough to become a canal boat owner in upstate New York. When the canal freezes over in the winter, Michael heads to New York City where he witnesses steamships replacing clippers and sees the impact that the Erie Canal is having on the Harbor. He believes steamship towboats will be in great demand in the bustling harbor and he makes it his mission to become a steamship towboat owner.

Michael saves enough money to buy a half share of a steamship towboat in 1860. He soon thereafter also founds a towboat brokerage and begins work as a towboat agent as well. Our industrious founder is on his way to becoming a prosperous American marine operator, capitalizing on the explosion of boat traffic in New York Harbor during the late 1800s and building a marine dynasty.

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Growth & Expansion

Surviving the upheaval of the American Civil War as well as World Wars I & II and the Great Depression, Moran Towing continues to expand and prosper over the years despite the challenges. As Moran Towing’s longevity demonstrates, tough times never last but tough people do.

After many years of growth under Moran family leadership, Moran Towing is acquired in 1994 by James Barker and Paul Tregurtha, long time business partners interested in expanding their footprint in the maritime industry. While Moran has grown, diversified and changed family ownership over the years, the heart and soul of the Company will always be personified by Michael Moran, known for his competitive drive, entrepreneurial spirit, and honesty.

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Present Day

Today the company has evolved into a modern-day marine transportation company providing not only towing and ship docking services, but also bulk marine transportation services as well as marine environmental recovery services. Headquartered in New Canaan, CT, the still privately-owned company employs over 2,000 people, conducting 37,000 ship assist jobs, as well as transporting over 50 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products and 3 million tons of dry bulk product yearly. The company is also the leading provider of LNG ship assistance and terminal services in North America.