The Sogestran Group

    The Sogestran Group

    Presentation Our vision Our history

    Presentation of the Sogestran Group

    A Sogestran team

    Since the creation of our group in 1948, the professionalism of our teams, our taste for innovation and our technical expertise, as well as the confidence of our customers, have enabled us to become the leading French river shipping company and a recognised maritime shipping company.

    Our core business is high added value freight transport and services to our industrial customers.

    We design, invest in, manage and operate our fleet and our industrial means. Our experience in the field, our knowledge of the markets and the expertise of our design office enable us to imagine and design tailor-made solutions for our customers, ever more innovative and environmentally friendly.

    Operating in France and Europe, the group's various entities are currently organised into four business lines:

    • river transport of goods (Petrochemical products / XXL heavy goods / Containers / Dry bulk),
    • maritime transport (Petrochemical products / XXL heavy goods / Industrial and specialised products),
    • multimodal transport (Combined container transport and urban distribution)
    • and industrial services (Tanks repair and cleaning / Storage of dangerous products).

    Our teams consist of passionate experts at all levels.

    We are an innovative, structured and reliable industrial force, always focused on quality, human and environmental respect.

    Simplified organisation chart of Sogestran group’s companies

    Simplified organisation chart of Sogestran group’s companies

    Our vision

    Vision and values of Sogestran

    The vision of the Sogestran group is primarily based on the common raison d'être of the men and women who are part of it and who, since its creation, have enabled its success thanks to their work, their professionalism and their daily commitment.

    It drives and motivates our teams, it sets us apart and commits us everyday to serving our clients.

    Our raison d'être, which defines who we are, is the following:

    To imagine,
    To engage our resources,
    To accompany the goods entrusted to us by our clients.

    The vision of the Sogestran group is also an ambition that defines what we want to be tomorrow, that guides our actions, that projects us into the future.

    At the core of the energy transition challenges, river and maritime transport is constantly evolving. The products we transport today are not those we will transport tomorrow, the propulsion systems and fuels we use today are not those we will use tomorrow.

    To meet these challenges, our ambition is to build a European group serving a more sustainable economy.

    Finally, the vision of the Sogestran group consists of the values upon which the group has been built since its creation. These values, which constitute the original culture of our group, are as follows:

    • Trust - We only have one word and act righteously
    • Agility - We dare to undertake and promote boldness
    • Pride - We work with pride and succeed with humility
    • Commitment - We do not count our efforts and always see things through

    These values guide the way we strive to behave and interact with each other, our clients and our partners to fully embody our vision.

    Our history

    It was in Le Havre in 1948 that Edmond Girardet created the Sogestran River Management and Transport Company. Ambitious, determined and passionate, Sogestran was developed in short order: he acquired boats, modernized the fleet, diversified the activities, purchased stakes in many companies...

    In fifteen years, the small company of four people, equipped with two 320-ton self-propelled tankers at the outset, became an important inland navigation company.

    Click on the timeline below or drag to see key dates in the Sogestran Group's history:

    Creation of Sogestran


    Creation of Sogestran by Edmond Girardet

    First degassing station


    Diversification in the services to industries activity, with the creation of the first degassing station in a French port

    Sotrabel 1956


    Creation of a subsidiary in Ghent, Belgium

    First pushed fluvial convoy


    Maiden voyage of the first fluvial convoy (barge and pusher boat) on the Seine. On board, 3,000 tons of petroleum products.

    First river transport of cars


    First river transport of cars (up to 250 vehicles per convoy)

    First iron ore convoys


    First iron ore convoys between Dunkirk and Denain

    Fluvial transport of heavy parcels


    Launch of the fluvial transport of heavy parcels by roll barges and first pushed convoys on the Rhône

    Gérard Perrin


    Gérard Perrin is appointed Managing Director at Sogestran

    Coal transport on the Loire


    Start of coal transport by barge on the Loire

    First transport of Ariane IV rockets


    First transport of Ariane IV rockets on the Seine and creation of the fluvial transport company (CFT) by bringing together Sogestran and Sanara

    Creation of SEREP Sogestrol

    Faced with the growing success of road transport tanks and tank containers cleaning activity and the circulation difficulties that this entails, SEREP decided to relocate the truck cleaning activity to the industrial area in Le Havre port. In 1988, the activity was established within Sogestrol and SEP-SEREP-Sogestrol was created in a 50/50 joint venture, which later became TSN.

    Maritima - 1990


    Diversification of the group in the maritime transport business through the acquisition of Maritima, a company specializing in petrol cabotage in the Mediterranean

    Transportation of liquefied petroleum gas


    Beginning of the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas on the Rhône in partnership with Chemgas, a Dutch shipowner

    Routing the voussoir arches for the Pont de Normandie


    Routing and setting up the voussoir arches for the Pont de Normandie

    Container transport on the Seine


    Sogestran is the first French shipowner to offer container transport on the Seine through its subsidiary LogiSeine

    Creation of CARE


    In 1995, Sogestrol teamed up with three partners to create CARE, a company whose business is to store packaged hazardous chemicals. Located in the industrial and port area of Le Havre, CARE is 65% owned by Sogestrol.
    For 13 consecutive years, the activity was in deficit and it was not until 2008 that CARE finally found an economic balance. Due to the need for new investments that our co-shareholders refused, Sogestran became the sole shareholder of CARE with 100% of the shares in 2013.

    Creation of PMS Citernes


    Attentive to its tank container customers, the Sogestran Group recognized the market’s need for the creation of a specific site for the cleaning, maintenance and repair of tank containers. Customers must be able to find all the services they need to operate their container fleet on the same site. The Group therefore partnered with CMI Conteneurs in 2000, to create a company specializing in the repair of tank containers, PMS  Citernes, an activity encompassing the inspection, maintenance and small repairs of tanks. In addition to the cleaning activity provided by TSN, this gave rise to a ‘One Stop Shop’ structure.

    Construction of Annemasse in 2001


    Construction of the first double-hull tank barges for the Seine and the Rhône

    Pascal Girardet becomes Managing Director


    Pascal Girardet becomes Managing Director of the group

    Transportation of compacted household waste


    Start of the transportation of compacted household waste from the Communauté de l'Agglomération Havraise

    Tanks cleaning


    The year 2009 is marked by a vertiginous drop in the volumes of tanks being cleaned. In view of this, discussions were held with a company competing with TSN in the industrial area of Le Havre to ensure the sustainability of our activities.
    These exchanges were finalized by the integration of this site within TSN and the closure in 2010 of the LBC SOGESTROL cleaning station.

    The Libeccio


    Design and commissioning of a hybrid roll on / roll off barge dedicated to the transport of heavy parcels for the future ITER power station in Cadarache

    The Lapresta


    Inaugural loading of a barge with 6,500T of bitumen maintained at 180°C. Devised to sail between Belgium and Holland, it was specifically designed and built in partnership with the German shipowner Jaegers.

    Fluvial waste recycling centre in Lyon

    The city of Lyon and the Sogestran Group test a fluvial waste recycling centre: a first in Europe

    The MN Pelican and MN Calao


    Acquisition of the Compagnie Maritime Nantaise. This French shipowner operates specific vessels for reference customers such as the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the French Navy and Arianespace, for which it transported the Ariane rocket to Kourou.

    Freeman Industrie


    Acquisition of Freeman Industrie, a French railway tanks repair and cleaning company



    Acquisition of Dubbelman, a Dutch container transport company on the Rhine


    Acquisition of De Poli, a Dutch bulk chemical shipping company, which will become Navquim