During the second half of the XIX Century, Messina Family began the Ship Owning activity in the little harbour of Riposto, Sicily; they initially traded in wine products, and gradually expanded their dimentions, up to be now one of the main Shipping Company in Italy and also in the world.
Ignazio Messina & C. provides regular services connecting Southern Europe, Mediterranean Area, Africa, Middle East and Indian subcontinent, more than 50 ports and supplying 40 different countries.
Thanks to the development of an efficient ground locistic system, the Group offers more than 100 internal prosecutions also in Africa, in the Middle East and in India,as well as Europe clearly.
In addition to Genoa Headquarter, the Company has also :
- commercial offices in Italy, in Modena and Naples
- representative commercial offices in Europe : in London, Barcelona and Valencia
- controlled agencies in Europe: in Marseille and Zurich
- controlled agencies in Africa, and specifically in: South Africa (Durban, Cape Town, Johannesbourg), Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan), Senegal (Dakar), Kenya (Mombasa, Nairobi), Tunisia (Tunis), Uganda (Kampala) and Mozambique (Maputo).
The Company represents Gruppo Messina S.p.A's core business, having a structure composed of about 1.000 employees all over the world.
1921 : After various ship-owning experiences, and after having moved with the whole family in Genova, Giuseppe Messina gradually retires, entrusting the company management (still named "Giuseppe Messina Tabuso") to his eldest son Ignazio, who immediately institutes regular services towards Nothern Africa, using only ships flying italian flag.
1929: Ufficially borns the Company "Ignazio Messina" S.a.S., which has been already outlined in 1921. The efficient regular service towards Northern Africa obtains the shipping industry's approval, and the Company is honoured with the Postal Pennant in the Libian Line. The loose wine commerce has disappeared, and the fleet trades other more profitable goods such as sugar, wheat, petroleum, concrete; it's a moment of big expansion for both trades and routes.
During the 1930s the Company flag waves at Ponte Eritrea, where they've obtained a fix berth and some docks where to stock goods.
1931 The fleet increase of four new units. Ships stasted to sail twice or three times a week from Genoa, following the route Genoa – Naples – Messina – Catania – Malta – Tripoli – Homs – Sliten – Misurata – Sirte – Benghasi.
1935 Regular services ae increased towords Red Sea, Saudi Arabia and Eastern Africa. A new regular service towards Eritrea borns: the very first monthly start becomes soon a twice a month start, and the ships number also increases,being modified to the cargo type carried (goods, semi-processed products, workmen, troops and passengers).
The second half of the 1930s is characterized by a development politic, which permits the company to have guaranteed the "rich goods": cotton, hides, coffee, bananas and colonial spices. Ignazio Messina organizes a shipping Agencies Network, and employed also local people, promoting the emergence of loading/unloading companies: he also arranged cargos warehouses and creates companies managing ground transports, on rail too.
1940: The Company has a 17 ship's fleet in an amount of 47.000 tons, manages 70 employees and 500 crew members. In Tripoli Ignazio Messina & C. has also a wherehouse where to bunker ships; furthermore Messina Company acquires "I Cantieri Del Mediterraneo" in Pietra Ligure, in which are amployeed more than 300 people.
As the war joined, and till spring 1945, Ignazio Messina Company's business is connected basically on it's fleets defence.
1946-1950. After Wold War II, despite the almost toal lost of his fleet, Ignazio is focused onto capture again the historic routes, already conquered in 1930s, restoring in particular regular services towards Libia, Tunisia, and getting to Eastern Africa's ports, Arabic ports and Souther Africa's ports, long to serve then the whole African continent.
1955: it's the darkest period, as Messina Company needs to receive private financing, to meet the commitments.
1958: Ignazio is obliged to leave the shipyard management, focusing his interest only on the shipping company and then on the shipping lines management.
1960: Messina Company has again a douzen ships fleet, and sails towards new ports in Mahgreb, Red Sea and Arabia; furthermore the relationship with the italian ports of Livorno and Naples are reopened, and Gianfranco, Giorgio e Paolo, Ignazio's sons enter the Company: lead by their father, they contribute to the company's further development.
1968: From being a traditional ships owner, Ignazio transforms the Company business specializing it in the ro/ro and container service . In this year the new ro/ro ship Jollyemme starts commercial operations between Genoa and Libia: the first containership service from Italy to foreign ports has born . During the Suez Canal closing Ignazio Messina's ships have been the only flying italian flag to guarantee the regular schedule towards Eastern Africa and Read Sea.
1974: The Company Ignazio Messina & C. becomes a S.p.A.
1977: Messina Terminal is moved in La Spezia
1982: Ignazio Messina, the founder, passes away.
1980 - 1995 : The Company is gradually entered by the third generation with Andrea Gais, Massimo, Ignazio, Stefano and Emanuele Messina, protecting thus the family-run management.
1996: Messina Company returns in Genoa as a terminal operator, with the Nino Ronco docks granting, together with Calata Derna and the background area . It's the first Terminal in Europe able to obtain both the RINA class for safety and environment, and the Security Code ISPS approval.
2001: On the occasion of the 80° Company's foundation anniversary, Messina family donates to the city a huge glass sphere born from Reno Piano's talent, which was intended to become a big ferns greenhouse, placed at Porto Antico next to the famous Genoa Acquarium; where the Renzo Piano sphere now stands in the 1960s there were still berthed Messina Company's ships.
2009: Ignazio Messina & C. signes in Genoa a contract with the korean shipyard Daewoo to build 4 new ro/ro units which will be the biggest ever designed in the world, with a total investment of about 300 million dollars.
2010: by composing an A.T.I. together with Terminal San Giorgio, Messina Company wins the tender notice for the former Multipurpose Terminal areas, obtaining the grant for Molo Canepa, part of Calata Bengasi and of the background area.
Some works are currently underway, in order to fill the body of water between Molo Ronco and Molo Canepa up.
2011: In december has been delivered the forst of the new Jollys, the one named Jolly Diamante, followed by Jolly Perla (in may 2012), Jolly Cristallo (in october 2012) and then Jolly Quarzo (in february 2013).
2012: Ignazio Messina & C. signes Genoa a contract with the korean shipyard STX to build a new series of 4 ro/ro units, with a total investment of above 300 million dollars.
2013: Gruppo Messina S.p.A. management holding borns, which is the outcome of the company's rearrangement with the purpose of obtaining a better efficiency ti follow the commerce requests and trasformations. All of the shipping activities are entrusted to the newborn Ignazio Messina & C. S.p.A.
2014: The first of the second new ships series, the one named Jolly Titanio is delivered: the unit has been built in the STX korean shipyard, and is followed by the three twins ships: Jolly Cobalto, Jolly Vanadio and Jolly Palladio,which has been lasto to be delivered in may 2015.