Marine Crew Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd ("MCS") and Marine Bulk Carriers (Pty) Ltd (MBC) are established by Robert Knutzen (ex CEO of the Golden Ocean Group), Jan Rabie (ex Director of Safmarine) and Mark Watson to develop and place South African seafarers with international shipping companies and ship management companies, as well as to give South Africa entrée into the shipping of cargo to and from the country.

Shortly after inception Lester Peteni (Managing Director Sizwe Shipping Investments) and Lance Manala joined Marine Crew Services as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer respectively. The Company is now a 55% Black owned Company.

November 2004
MCS, with support of the Ministry of Labour and SATAWU, agreed a special South African wage scale with the ITF in London. This means that our seafarers are competitive in the European trades. Owners employing South African seafarers on their vessels are entitled to an ITF Blue card which will ensure that their trade is undisturbed by labour disputes.

December 2004
Minister MMS Mdladlana, Minister of Labour celebrates with MCS a breakthrough for job creation for South Africans in the Maritime field with the hand-over by MCS of the first South African crew to an international shipping company. This follows an historic agreement between MCS and the owners of the Holy House Shipping Line of Sweden.

April 2005
Job creation, skills transfer and benefits for South Africa from greater involvement in the shipping of raw materials and crude oil is given a major boost by the investment of a leading international ship owner in two South African companies.

In simultaneous announcements in Tokyo, London and Cape Town, the Sanko Steamship Co. Ltd of Tokyo, Japan (Sanko) announces its strategic financial investment in Marine Bulk Carriers LTD (MBC) and Marine Crew Services Ltd (MCS).

May 2005
MBC joins forces with R.S. Platou (Asia) Pte Ltd, based in Singapore, to form MBC-Platou (Pty) Ltd, a new tanker ship broking company located in Cape Town, South Africa. This company will soon be renamed to reflect its African roots.

July 2005
Marine Bulk Carriers wins an important tender with state-owned PetroSA.

Marine Bulk Carriers, through a ground breaking agreement with Eastern Shipping of India, supplies an anchor handling tug supply vessel for service in PetroSA's Sable Oil Field along South Africa's Southern Cape Coast. The 'Malaviya Twenty One' went into service in July 2005 to further enhance on board opportunities for training and development, benefiting job opportunities, the skills base and know how of local companies.

November 2005
Towards the end of 2005 the MBC and Sanko partnership concluded further charter agreements for two Sanko vessels to Kumba Resources and BP Shipping respectively. Kumba Resources, the South African iron ore exporter, chartered the 150960 dwt Sanko owned Cape 'Sanko Spark' and the 298920 dwt Sanko owned VLCC 'Sanko Unity' went to BP Shipping for 12 months employment.

January 2006
The 'Sanko Spark' loads first MBC cargo in terms of the agreement in Saldanha Bay in January 2006 and discharged 150000 tons of iron ore successfully in the Chinese port of Yantai in early February. This was followed in May 2006 by the 'Bosporos' with a voyage charter to Sasol Coal for a cargo of 150000 tons from Richards Bay to Redcar in the United Kingdom.

August 2006
The South African black empowered maritime company, Marine Crew Services (MCS), is celebrating another milestone in its efforts to create new work opportunities for South Africans in the world's maritime fleets. The first officer to graduate out of the MCS programme has left South Africa to join the 105 000 metric ton oil carrier, Sanko Brave, in the Mediterranean.

Francois Fouche, who is joining the Sanko Brave as fourth officer, was one of a number of cadets that joined vessels of the Sanko Steamship Co of Japan as a result of a development programme conducted by MCS to contribute to the establishment of South Africa as a maritime nation.

June 2007
A steady stream of Angolan seafarers are passing through South African training centres and institutions as that country puts its weight behind a programme to create a pool of merchant navy seafarers for both its local off-shore and international shipping industries.

One company that is closely involved with this programme says the Angolan example is a good indication of what can be achieved in a partnership between the public and private sectors to create jobs in industries where citizens of Southern Africa have had limited access in the past.

Training executive at Marine Crew Services, Deanna Collins, says the Angolan government together with shipping companies involved in the off-shore industry provide strong support for the marine training courses offered by the various expert service providers in South Africa. "Young Angolans are attracted to the fast growing off-shore oil industry and both the public and private sectors realise that these new entrants to the merchant navy need the required skills and are providing the funding to do something about it."

"This is an excellent example for all countries in Africa and we have no doubt that Angola will see the results not only in increased employment for its people in the off-shore industry, but also in their placement in the shipping fleets of the world."

July 2007
MBC has now also concluded its very successful contract to PetroSA to supply the anchor handling supply vessel Malaviya Twenty One to the giant oil rig, 'Pride of Southseas', off the Cape Coast. The 'Malaviya Twenty One' has now been re-assigned to Tullow Oil for work in the Kudu Field off Namibia.

More recent fixtures by MBC in the spot market included the Capes 'Nisshin Trader' and the 'Sanko Oasis' and the Handies 'Sunny Globe' and 'Sanko Jupiter'. MBC is now also responsible for the commercial employment of the Cape vessel 'Sanko Spark', while 'Sanko Unity' continues its employment with BP.

August 2007
MBC expands her interests in the international bulk shipping business by adding two more vessels to those already under its commercial management.

Sanko Steamship Company of Japan places another Cape size vessel under full commercial management by MBC. MBC also independently charters a Panamax size vessel for a period of two years.

Marine Bulk Carriers' Director Jan Rabie says in terms of an agreement with Sanko, MBC will be taking over the commercial management of the 162 000 ton Cape size vessel 'Sanko Oasis'. "We already have the 150 000 ton 'Sanko Spark' under our commercial management and the latest agreement is further confirmation of Sanko's commitment to our business."

October 2007
MCS is making steady progress with its work in the training of navigation and engineering officers and ratings. A steady stream of Angolan seafarers are now passing through the South African company's doors to attend training centres and other educational institutions. At the same time a growing number of cadets and emerging officers are sailing on vessels around the world.

November 2007
MBC now has an annual turnover of R400 million. Lester Peteni, Company chairman and major shareholder says "While the world shipping markets are at an all time peak driven by the commodity boom and imports to China, MBC has been able to establish itself as a mover in the bulk business."

December 2007
Marine Crew Services tells the South African government that it has established international linkages to conduct a training programme for 2500 new merchant navy seafarers over a period of eight years. The programme would cost R247-million but cannot be conducted without government funding support.

Deanna Collins says: "Through our partnership with the Sanko Shipping Line of Japan we now have 13 cadets and emerging officers sailing on vessels around the world who are in the process of accumulating the required experiential training before being able to take their examinations to qualify as officers. This programme is very successful and it is such a pity that we cannot expand it to include more of the youth in our country because of a lack of funding."