The Project

For twelve years Foss Maritime Company owned and operated the Mercosur Shuttle Group (MSG), a tug and barge container feeder service. MSG operated primarily on the Hidrovia Waterway system, made up of the Rio Plate, Rio Paraná and Rio Paraguay, which have extremely low water levels (approximately 5 feet of available draft) during certain times of the year. MSG was able to successfully navigate these low waters using specifically built shallow draft tugs and large deck barges that had a much higher TEU/barge capacity than the smaller barges used by competing companies.

Services Provided:

  • Terminal Services
  • Liner Services
  • Cargo Tracking and Logistics
  • Regional Towing


  • MSG operated five large deck barges and four tugboats
  • Provided a scheduled common carriage container-on-barge freight service on these river systems
  • MSG acted as a connecting carrier for large ocean shipping lines, transporting primarily containers and automobiles
  • Large deck barges offered a competitive advantage – three of the five barges had a 280 TEU/barge capacity and the other two had a 320 TEU/barge capacity
  • MSG was transporting approximately 40,000 TEU’s per year, feeding a terminal network stretching 870 river miles from the main terminals in Montevideo and Buenos Aires to Asunción