Charles Kurz began his maritime business career in 1909, providing a variety of contracted ship services. Soon, he began chartering
vessels to carry commodities he had purchased, as well as third party cargoes. Thereafter, he began purchasing, and eventually building, ships. By the 1920s, what was originally a single-vessel company had evolved into a growing fleet operating under the Kurz name. By the early 1940s, with war looming on the horizon, the United States Government sought shipping companies to manage merchant vessels as part of what would become the war effort. Charles Kurz responded to that call by forming an enterprise which, at its World War II peak, managed a fleet of 75 ships.
After World War II, Charles Kurz, along with sons Adolph and Karl, provided the leadership which allowed Keystone Shipping to prosper. The following decades brought Keystone not only a broad base of loyal customers, but a highly regarded reputation as an innovator as well. Keystone pioneered the jumbo-izing of tankers, the development of the parcel tanker, the use of specialized tank cleaning methods, the shipboard use of personal computers, and the development of dual-fired propulsion systems.
Building on their family’s formula for success, Adolph and Karl’s sons, Charles Kurz II, Donald Kurz and Robert Kurz continued the tradition of leadership and made enhancements in all areas of the business.
Today, led by Donald Kurz, Keystone strives to continuously improve upon all phases of its operations, build upon its partner relationships and diversify its services and core competences. At the same time, we continue to imbed and perpetuate a culture of environmental stewardship and cost effective safe operations.