The Estonian Shipping Company (ESCO) with the registered name AS Eesti Merelaevandus is the oldest ship-owning company in Estonia.
ESCO has proud traditions with roots dating back to the middle of the 20th century. ESCO's shipping activities have included ownership and management of ferries and timber and bulk carriers as well as managing liner activities. These liner activities span over 30 years of shipping between Europe and West Africa. Main focus has however been on trade between Estonian and Scandinavian ports.
In 1997 the Estonian Government initiated the privatisation of ESCO. Tschudi & Eitzen (T&E) was subsequently approached by the Norwegian broker Pareto looking for a partner with shipping experience to bid for this company, with a fleet of 48 vessels and an organization of 240, based in Tallinn.
Seeing opportunities in Russia and the Baltic, T&E took a stake in Baltic Sea AS thus becoming a 10% partner in ESCO. This was the start of a rather complex process leading to T&E becoming the sole owners of ESCO in August 2002. Now with a foothold in the Baltic, T&E could concentrate on developing existing business and investigating new ventures related to the new economic development in the former Communist states in Eastern Europe.
In 2003 ESCO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tschudi Shipping Company AS.