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Our story


A long history of engineering innovation

During the 1920s, concerned over unnecessary losses of North Sea colliers, engineers Robert and Joseph MacGregor developed the first steel hatch cover. Deceptively simple, the design consisted of five articulated leaves that stowed neatly at the end of each hatch. Patented in 1929, this ground-breaking concept improved ship and cargo safety and changed the face of cargo care for ever.

In 1937, to promote and sell his steel hatch covers, Robert MacGregor and his brother Joseph formed MacGregor & Company in Whitley Bay on the north-east coast of England. This was the actual beginning of the MacGregor story.

Going further, the marine cargo business of the company in a broader meaning started in 1983 when MacGregor merged with the Finnish Navire. The new company was named MacGregor-Navire.

In 1992, the company acquired the world leading container lashing manufacturer, Conver-OSR and its product portfolio.

A year later, Incentive acquired MacGregor-Navire and merged it with Hägglunds Marine - the Swedish crane specialist. In 1998, the majority of MacGregor was sold to Industri Kapital.

In 2005, Cargotec bought MacGregor International AB, the global marine cargo flow solutions provider, to strengthen the company’s cargo handling offering. Also in 2005, MacGregor’s lashing design knowledge was further strengthened with the acquisition of the Swedish company Allset Marine Lashing.

In 2007 MacGregor expanded into new segments through acquisitions like the Norwegian company Hydramarine, which specialises in offshore and subsea load handling systems, and Plimsoll Corporation Pte Ltd. Plimsoll, based in Singapore, offers deck machinery for offshore oil and gas operators as well as for the marine industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

Another acquisition took place in 2008 when Cargotec bought Platform Crane Services International Inc (PCS), which specialises in the service, repair and maintenance of marine and offshore cranes with an emphasis on installations in the Gulf of Mexico.

MacGregor celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012. Read more about the anniversary here.

Asian market has grown in importance for Macgregor business. MacGregor’s presence in Asia is continuously enhanced with actions such as the new offshore equipment factory for MacGregor equipment in Tianjin, China, opened in 2008, and the establishing of a new joint venture company in China with Jiangsu Rainbow Heavy Industries (RHI), Rainbow-Cargotec Industries Co Ltd (RCI) in 2012.

Cargotec announced in 2012 that it is planning for a separate listing of MacGregor in Asia subject to market conditions. In February 2013, Cargotec's Board of Directors decided to establish the domicile of the future parent company of MacGregor business area in Singapore.

Cargotec’s MacGregor business area is the world’s leader in engineering solutions and services for handling marine cargoes and offshore loads.