Known as MTL in the James Bay and Hudson Bay area was originally Hudson Bay Company Transport. MTL has a long history of sailing in the Hudson and James Bay waters. In 1974, Fednav and Crowley Maritime through their associated company Arctic Transportation Limited purchased Hudson Bay Transport and all of its assets from the Hudson Bay Company, now the North West Company. At time of its acquisition, ATL renamed the company Moosonee Transportation Company.
In the late 1980’s, the Crees of James Bay assessed ATL’s operational objectives, and its proposed services, and it was learned that the needs of the James Bay communities cannot be properly met. It was determined that the services and sailing schedule proposed would not be appropriate and beneficial for the coastal communities.
The Waskaganish First Nation, from Quebec and James Bay Travel Limited, an established private locally owned business that specialized in marine transportation, haulage, and winter road construction, pursued a joint business venture to provide a tug and barge transportation service to service the needs of the James Bay and Hudson Bay coastal communities.
During the establishing process of the new business venture, James Bay Travel and the Waskagnish First Nations was offered the purchase of ATL. The preference of the new jointly owned business was to purchase all the shares and assets of ATL.
After some financial groundwork to acquire all the shares and assets of ATL, James Bay Travel and the Waskaganish First Nation finalized the purchase. Operations commenced in the summer season of 1989 of Moosonee Transportation Limited.
The voyages out of Moosonee went from previous season highs of 14 to 38 trips. It has gone up in numbers continually, and each year, there are as many as 56 trips in one season. MTL has and is still doing very well.