Mercator Lines Limited (MLL), an established player in the marine transportation industry and the second largest private sector shipping company in India was incorporated on 24th November 1983 as a private limited company. The Company also has presence in the Oil & Gas Offshore business through its subsidiaries. MLL's business segments are classified into broad categories of Shipping (Tankers (Wet Bulk), Dry Bulk Carriers and Dredgers), Offshore, Logistic Solutions and Mining. The fleet of the company is a combination of vessels ranging from Bulk carriers, Medium Range vessels and Aframax's to VLCC's. MLL has done pioneering work by operating vessels in some unchartered rivers like the Tapti and has thus opened new navigational routes.
MLL's status was converted from private limited to a public limited company on 3rd April of the year1984. Mr. H. K. Mittal the promoter of the company took it over in the year 1988. The Company's maiden public issue was gone to capital market in the year of 1993. The tonnage of the company was 4000 DWT level in the year of 1994. The Company had undertaken a major expansion drive to add 9 tanker vessels during the year 2005 at an aggregate cost of Rs 13 Crores. During the year 1996, the company acquired and commenced the operation of one mini tanker, the Power Station of BSES at Dahanu. In 1998, MLL won a contract with M/s. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. against stiff competition for transportation of bulk petroleum products on the East Coast. The Company had signed an agreement with Central Depository Service (India) Limited and National Securities Depository Limited for dematerialization in the year 2000. Mercator had acquired one second hand aframax tanker of 94706 M/tons Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) in the year 2003 under second phase of its expansion program. The Company was nominated consecutively for two years for the 'Emerging Company of the Year 2003-04 and 2004-05' by the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence. The Company was awarded the 'Star Company of the Year Award' in Small and Medium Sector (SME) by the leading financial newspaper, Business Standard in February of the year 2005. Mercator had signed a Memorandum of Agreement for rights of operating on Geared Panamax vessels in the identical year of 2005.
MLL was rated as 'Fastest Growing Small Company of India' across all the sectors by Business Today in March of the year 2005. During April of the same year 2005, the company successfully completed its first international offering of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB) aggregated USD 60 million. During the year 2006-07, M.T. Punita, a vessel of the company and its members received 'Award for Maritime Bravery' from Indian Coast Guard. Mercator, although had a new entrant into the Dry Bulk Segment in February of the year 2007, achieved the distinction of having the largest Dry Bulk vessel over to call at the Mumbai Port. During the year 2007-08, MLL made its foray into dredging with acquisition of own fleet of dredgers and maiden Initial Public Offerings by the subsidiary listed on main board of Singapore Stock Exchange. Mercator had secured a long term charter contract with leading PRC shipping conglomerate in March of the year 2008 through its Singapore subsidiary. The Company had signed a Memorandum of Agreement to purchase 1 double Hull VLCC during May of the year 2008. In July of the same year 2008, Mercator Singapore took delivery of vessels YK Taurus and YK Titan.