About Us

The year was 1898 when Captain William Burke Vane and his brother, Captain Allen P. Vane, established a humble ship chandlery in Baltimore. Since that time, the Vane Brothers Company has transitioned into a multi-faceted marine transportation provider with more than 130 vessels operating out of multiple locations, including Baltimore (Vane Brothers' corporate headquarters), New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Puget Sound, Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco, and the Great Lakes Region.


The original Vane brothers were joined in the 1920s by their cousins, Claude and Charles Hughes. Together, the two sets of siblings grew the business until the Vanes retired in 1941. Charles Hughes' son, Charles F. Hughes Jr., joined the family-owned company a decade later, and now his son, C. Duff Hughes, is at the helm. Duff has overseen an unprecedented amount of growth and diversification during the last three decades. 

Vane Brothers sets the standard of excellence in the maritime industry with modern equipment, highly trained crews and a steadfast commitment to safety. Along with bunkering, lightering and launch services, Vane operates a Marine Safety division with expertise in marine safety equipment service and inspection.

By continuously broadening the scope of the company and operating at the forefront of technological advances, Vane Brothers has thrived in an ever-changing industry.

Our Mission

To provide customers with preferred, quality service that consistently meets or exceeds their expectations.


We are committed to developing the safest possible marine transportation system achievable, with emphasis on preventing injury, loss of life and damage to the marine environment and property.

Our focus on safety is promoted within our company and throughout the marine industry. We continually strive to conduct operations with zero spills and zero incidents.

Our Promise

Vane Brothers consults, listens to, and responds openly to customers, employees, neighbors, public interest groups and others with whom we work. Along with our partners, employees, competitors and regulators, we raise the standards of the maritime industry.

Environmental Stewardship

As part of day-to-day operations, Vane Brothers aims to exceed all federal, state, local, and customer safety and environmental regulations. The combination of our proactive safety program, aggressive maintenance schedule, and use of the highest-quality equipment ensures that Vane operates safely and productively.

To achieve the company's environmental goals and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the full complement of Vane Brothers vessels built since 2014 are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) TIER 3 compliant, from the main engines and generators to the towing machinery engines and emergency generators. Going forward, we will continue to take all appropriate steps toward accomplishing a sustainable energy future.

The key elements of our safety program are training, certification and continuing investment in reliable equipment. The Safety Management Team routinely conducts in-service training and on-shore refresher programs. In addition, our crews attend courses detailing new navigation techniques, firefighting and dangerous cargo handling.

We also make certain that personnel and equipment are certified routinely by U.S. Coast Guard staff, customers and independent auditing agencies.


Vane Brothers is committed to the highest standards of quality and safety in the industry. We work hard to promote the protection of our workforce and the environment at all times. We address these issues through rigorous training programs and corporate governance.

In order to ensure the safety of our staff, equipment and the environment, we adhere to safety standards such as those described below.

  • American Waterway Operators Responsible Carrier Program (AWO RCP) is recognized as the highest safety standard in the waterway transportation industry. This organization maintains and develops policies and procedures to prevent incidents and accidents, and encompasses safety, quality, and environmental standards.
  • The International Safety Management (ISM) certification system was established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and requires that companies develop a Safety Management System. The third party auditing company, ABS, ensures its Document of Compliance and helps companies commit to the priority of safety and environmental protection in operational activities.
  • Sunoco Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) was developed by Sunoco to integrate all aspects of health, safety, environment and operations integrity into one management system.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) has, as its main mission, to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.