Our history

Our history

Wilson Sons was founded by Edward Pellew Wilson in 1837 in Salvador, Bahia. It is thus one of the oldest existing companies that operates in Brazil. During this long history Wilson Sons has become a solid and diversified group focused on provision of port, maritime and logistic land services and nowadays, it is one of the greatest integrated operators in the country.

The company has two important container terminals, Tecon Rio Grande and Tecon Salvador. It is the absolute leader in the maritime towing market having a tugboat fleet and PSVs built in its own shipyard located in Guarujá, in São Paulo. In addition, Wilson Sons has at its base, actions related to Sustainability and Social Responsibility through projects like Creating Ties and Wilson Sons Business History Center.


de 1837 a 1877

Nossa história 1837 a 1877
Wilson & Co is founded in the city of Salvador by brothers Edward and Fleetwood Pellew Wilson. The company is dedicated to the transportation of coal from England and North America and establishes representatives in many countries of South America. With Edward II it starts to expand to the transportation of a dozen products, improves its navigation and in port activities and opens its own shipyard.

  • 1837
    Edward Pellew Wilson founds Wilson Sons & Company in Salvador operating in the coal trade.
  • 1845
    Office opens in London in order to enable the transportation of coal contracts coming from England and America.
  • 1850
    Edward II installs in Recife (PE) Wilson, Brothers and Co, which specializes in the transportation of a dozen products, improves its navigation areas, the port works and open its own shipyard.
  • 1862
    Edward II transfers to Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1865
    Brazilian forces supply of prata carbon during Paraguay War aided in improving the company.
  • 1869
    Participation in the construction of the Great Western Brazil Railway and the building of the country’s first dry dock in the Guanabara Bay.
  • 1870
    In addition to the transportation of coal, it expands its trade operations trading involved in the more profitable businesses of the time.
  • 1872
    Opening of the first subsidiary in South America, in Montevideo, Uruguay associated to Yarrow, Hett & Company (owner of carbon deposit).
  • 1873
    Diversification of the businesses: goods agent, navigation service providers and stowage.

de 1878 a 1899

Nossa história 1878 a 1899
Consolidated as the biggest Brazilian company, Wilson Sons controls navigation is sold to the Davies family, which restructures the company: it creates Wilson Coal Company (exclusive to coal business).

  • 1877
    Wilson Sons becomes a corporation by means of shares, and transfers its headquarters to London creating close ties with the Ocean Group of collieries operating in the exploration of mines. In Argentina, merges with Yarrow, Hett & Company.
  • 1887
    Edward Pellew (father) dies.
  • 1888
    Expansion to São Paulo, providing coal to the vessels in the port of Santos.
  • 1889
    Wilson Sons passes through a difficult time as a result of having political positions contrary to Brazilian government. The company control is sold by the Davies and Edward maintains just a small participation in Brazil and England.

de 1900 a 1936

Nossa história 1900 a 1936
The holding Ocean & Wilson Ltd, was created as a public company on the London Stock Exchange. The group imports to and trades in the Brazilian market, with a focus on products which were not produced internally but maintains the coal business, supplying the major customers of the country – marine vessels, rail, gas companies, industries and most of the vessels docked in Brazil.

  • 1901
    In England, the Davies family reorganizes the company creating Wilson Coal Company (exclusive to coal businesses) and changing Wilson Sons Company as owner of the ports responsible for supplying coal to all the South Atlantic.
  • 1907
    Creation of Ocean Coal & Wilson Ltd from the union with Ocean Group of collieries.
  • 1911
    Agreement signed according to Rio de Janeiro Lighterage Company Limited.
  • 1936
    Start of towage business 

de 1936 a 1956

Nossa história 1936 a 1956
Wilson Sons is considered the biggest trade company in the country. However, the substitution of coal as the source of energy and the Brazilian industrialization that limits the importing licenses causes the board of directors from the group to stop its activities in Brazil and Latin America. The Salomon family becomes to be one of the biggest investors of Wilson Sons.

  • 1937
    Majority members from English Wilson Sons buy control of Lighterage Company, turning it into a subsidiary from Wilson Sons Co. Ltd.
  • 1950
    Period in which it lost its largest source of profit due to the dominance of air transportation.
  • 1951
    The board of directors decides that it is no longer possible to operate in Brazil and in Latin America and stops local activities.
  • 1954
    Salomon family becomes an important investor.
  • 1956
    Wilson Sons Ltd. turns to be Wilson Sons S.A Market, Industry and Shipping Agency.

de 1957 a 1986

Nossa história 1957 a 1986
Under Walter Salomon’s orders, Wilson Sons pursues a new path. The headquarters return to Rio de Janeiro and the control of assets of Ocean Wilson Holdings Ltd. Activities concentrate on navigation (agency) and tugboats.

  • 1957
    The headquarters return to Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1959
    Walter Salomon buys Wilson Sons, travels to Brazil and concentrates the activities in navigation and tug boats.
  • 1964
    Rio de Janeiro Lighterage Company is transformed into Companhia de Saveiros do Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1968
    Acquisition of Camuyrano Serviços Marítimos duplicating the size and the importance of the fleet. Saveiros and Camuyrano starts to operate as associated companies.
  • 1970
    Servemar Serviços de Rebocadores Agência Marítima e Passagens Ltda is created.
  • 1971
    Nationalization of Wilson Sons Company Limited, becoming Wilson Sons de Comércio. The company’s decision center moves from London to Rio de Janeiro and all employees start to be hired in Brazil.
  • 1973
    Incorporation by Saveiros of the company Serviços Marítimos Camuyrano S.A, creating Saveiros, Camuyrano Serviços Marítimos. 

    Acquisition of Guarujá Shipyard.
  • 1975
    Launches the Nitéroi Shipyard.
  • 1977
    Creation of Sobrare - Sociedade Civil Brasileira Auxiliar de Empresas Ltda. (Brazilian Civil Society Support to Companies).
  • 1978
    Sobrare acquires the whole of Servemar’s shares, starts to be Sobrare-Servemar S.A.

de 1987 a 1996

Nossa história 1987 a 1996
William Salomon takes control of Wilson Sons and the group starts developing new businesses, acting in all areas linked to maritime transport in Brazil: agency service, container deposit, support and port operations, towing, naval construction and cabotage.

  • 1987
    Walter Salomon dies.
  • 1988
    William Salomon takes control of the group, centralizes the businesses and gives a new image to the company.
  • 1994
    Creation of Allink Transportes Internacionais and constituted Wilson Sons Agência Marítima.
  • 1995
    Creation of Wilport Operadores Portuários.

de 1997 a 2006

Nossa história 1997 a 2006
Period of great investment. Wilson Sons participates and wins the bid for exploiting the container terminal in Rio Grande, and later, in Salvador. In 2007, the Group decides to open its capital on the national and international stock market, in a process which involved three different markets (São Paulo, London and Luxemburg).

  • 1997
    In the year that it celebrates 160 years, Wilson Sons leases the Container Terminal of Rio Grande Port (Tecon Rio Grande).
  • 1998
    EADI Santo André Inaugurated.
  • 1999
    Creation of Mega Agência Marítima Ltda in partnership with the group Ultramar from Chile, and Brasco through a joint venture with Asco.
  • 2000
    Lease of Container Terminal of Salvador Port (Tecon Salvador).
    Beginning of Wilson Sons Logistics’ activities.
  • 2003
    Wilson Sons takes total control of EADI Santo André Port.
  • 2004
    Reformulation of visual identity and business unification: Wilson Sons Logistica, Wilson Sons Terminais, Wilson Sons Agência and Wilson Sons Rebocadores (tugboats).

de 2007 a 2018

Nossa história 2007 a 2018
The Wilson Sons Group, becomes one of the biggest integrated operators of maritime, port and logistics services in Brazil, acting as service supplier to national and international maritime trading sectors.

  • 2007
    Wilson Sons opens its capital and joins Bovespa.
  • 2008
    Buys minority participation to own 100% of Tecon Salvador.

    Construction of the Third Birth in Tecon Rio Grande,resulting in Brazil’s largest container terminal in retro-area.
  • 2009
    Joint Venture with Magallanes Navegação Brasileira (controlled by Chilean group Ultratug) creates Wilson Sons Ultratug Offshore.

    Beginning of operations of the new group’s company, Transvisas.
  • 2010
    Beginning of Tecon Salvador’s expansion, Guarujá shipyard’s expansion, building of the shipyard in Rio Grande and total purchase of Brasco.

    Acquisition of the remaining 25% of Brasco, bringing Wilson Sons control to 100% of the asset.
  • 2011
    Through its subsidiary, Brasco Logistica Offshore Ltda, Wilson Sons signs contract for acquisition of total quotas representative of Bric Brazilian Intermodal Complex’s capital S/A ("Briclog") for the price of 125 million BRL.
  • 2012
    Expansion of Tecon Salvador almost doubling the terminal’s capacity. Wilson Sons celebrates 175 years since the Company foundation and Tecon Rio Grande celebrates 15 years in operation for the Company.
  • 2013
    Conclusion of the Guarujá II shipyard increasing the Company’s naval construction capacity from 4,500 tons to 10,000 tons of steel per year.

    Through the Brasco Logística Offshore Ltda, Wilson Sons concludes the acquisition of the total share capital of Bric Brazilian Intermodal Complex S/A (“Briclog”), base for the support of the offshore oil and gas industry.
  • 2014
    Tecon Salvador receives for the first time the ship Bartolomeu Dias from Aliança Navegação, a cabotage vessel with the greater load-carrying capacity ever operated in the terminal.
  • 2015
    Wilson Sons Agency in the port of Açu, Rio de Janeiro, began in May with shipping agency to Anglo American Brasil.
  • 2016
    Renewal of the Container Terminal concession in Salvador, acquisition of 6 tugboats of Vale. Start of operations in Santa Clara Terminal.
  • 2017
    Wilson Sons celebrated its 180th anniversary. The Container Terminals achieved a record 1,068 million TEU in 2017, a 3.7% increase over 2016.

    Tecon Rio Grande completed 20 years in operation.
  • 2018
    Tecon Salvador begins expantion work of main wharf to 800m. Eadi Santo André, which belongs to Wilson Sons Logística, celebrates 20 years and invests 1.5 million in new equipment. Record of 1,073 million TEUs moved in the two Container Terminals. The Guarujá II shipyard delivers the WS Sirius escort tug to the Wilson Sons Rebocadores fleet, the largest and most powerful tugboat in Brazil.