It all began in 1963

Our story began in the 60s in Trois-Rivières, thanks to the passion of one man: Pierre Paquin. From an early age, Pierre Paquin was fascinated by boats. Having spent his summers at the family cottage in Champlain, he enjoys admiring these big ships passing before his eyes. He regularly accompanies his father, Lucien Paquin, who founded Three Rivers Shipping Co. LTD in 1943, to the port of Trois-Rivières to nurture his fascination for stevedoring and shipping. Little did he know, at the time, that he would be setting up a major Canadian company, and that his vision would result in a tremendous success.


Acquisition of Dominion Coal infrastructure, which marked the start of stevedoring activities and the foundation of Somavrac.

Construction in Trois-Rivières of the first product warehousing and bagging plant for the pulp and paper industry.


The 70s were filled with challenges for the company but the founder thought big. His innovative spirit was put to the test during these years. The last coal shipments were delivered to Somavrac and made way for new products such as gypsum, road salt, fertilizers and various products for paper mills which will now be handled. The 70’s decade also saw the important addition of liquid bulk handling. This was a new expertise in the area of liquid products, highly sought after for the pulp and paper industry.

Signing of an agreement with an Ontario mining company for the shipping of 125,000 tons of ore to Sweden.

Offering transportation services becomes a must to better serve customers. The new fleet of trucks leads to the construction of a mechanical service center.

New expertise in the field of liquid products with the construction of a caustic soda tank, leading to the establishment of Servitank.

For Groupe Somavrac founder Pierre Paquin, the 80s were significant on a personal level, as he officially welcomes his sons Marc and Robert into the company. Marc Paquin had already held several positions in the company prior to his arrival in 1981 as Operations Manager. Having accompanied his father on the docks from an early age, Marc subsequently invested a great deal of time and energy working with his father and many other mentors to learn the rudiments of the trade. Pierre, Marc and Robert had great ambitions for Groupe Somavrac, and the 80s were the years when the first big dreams came true, with growth outside Trois-Rivières. In fact, the 80s were marked by various tank acquisitions at the Port of Trois-Rivières and by the construction and creation of new companies in Quebec.


Servichem sets up in Sainte-Catherine to provide bagging and bulk handling services and take advantage of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.


The 90s underlined significant diversification within Somavrac. Having specialized mainly in the pulp and paper industry, management seeks to diversify its activities and turns to the aluminum smelting sector. Optimal and personalized service is at the heart of Groupe Somavrac’s operations. Its customers being Somavrac’s main concern, this is what will make its reputation even today. Our managers are always on the lookout for ways to offer their customers more, from one end of the supply chain to the other.

With this in mind, at the end of the 90s, the company made a major investment by modifying certain facilities to be able to manufacture sodium hydrosulfite. At that point, Groupe Somavrac became a fully-fledged product manufacturer for the first time in its history.

Construction of a liquid product terminal for customers in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and North Shore regions.

Specialized in the pulp and paper industry, the company hopes to expand its areas of expertise and turns to aluminum smelters with the construction of Fonbrai, to handle coal tar pitch.

Addition of another element to the range of services: the distribution of calcium-chloride-based products, used mainly as dust suppressants and de-icing agents.

Major investment in facility upgrades to enable the manufacturing of sodium hydrosulfite. Groupe Somavrac becomes a full-fledged product manufacturer for the first time in its history.

The 2000s were marked by a series of acquisitions that enabled the company to expand.

In April 2005, the sudden death of the company’s founding President, Mr. Pierre Paquin, saddened the entire Groupe Somavrac community, who to this day still salute the work and dedication of this exceptional man. Despite this heavy loss, the family business continues to expand in many ways. The innovative side of the Paquin family was put to great use in the mid-2000s, enabling the company to develop new niches, including the agri-food, mining and water treatment industries.


Installation of three new tanks and a marine channel in Port Saguenay in La Baie.

Acquisition of UBA, specializing in chemical distribution and providing services complementary to those of Groupe Somavrac, such as partial bulk delivery.

Construction of two tanks and pipelines connected to companies of Société du Parc Industriel et Portuaire de Bécancour.

Investment in rail and warehousing facilities to serve a new market – the mining industry.

Acquisition of Sebci, specialized in the sale and distribution of magnesium chloride. This acquisition opens new markets and grants Groupe Somavrac access to new products.

Acquisition of Calclo, specialized in selling Québec products and natural brine.
Acquisition of Porlier Express to help consolidate activities focused on the mining industry in the strategic region of the North Shore.


50 years after the company was founded, Groupe Somavrac continues to shine in the industry, thanks to the incomparable expertise of its team members. The years 2010 are those of consolidation and development towards new horizons. Notably, the Group builds a sodium hypochlorite plant, enabling it to manufacture, distribute and sell the product.

The arrival of a new customer in the Bécancour Waterfront Industrial Park creates a business opportunity for Servitank. Thus begins the construction of two tanks and the addition of a pipeline connecting the tanks to both the wharf and the customer’s plant.

Construction of a sodium hypochlorite plant, a first for Groupe Somavrac, which manufactures, distributes, and sells the product.

Acquisition of Kencro Chemicals, whose expertise, strategic positioning, target customers and commitment to health and safety go hand in hand with UBA’s products and services.

The company continues to expand through the acquisition of new subsidiaries to perfect its logistics expertise. Since 2021, Groupe Somavrac has been able to rely on the expertise of its 12 subsidiaries to offer stevedoring, warehousing, handling and processing, transportation and distribution services to its highly diversified customer base. The company’s approach has evolved over the years, but its main objective remains the same: to accompany its customers through the various logistical stages, enabling them to concentrate on their own core expertise. The Group’s vision is one of sustainable growth: infrastructure modernization and automation. Despite its low profile, Groupe Somavrac has had a strong impact on various industries for over 60 years. The company is constantly striving for excellence and continuous improvement. Customer passion is deeply rooted: Groupe Somavrac is not just a service provider, it’s a key partner.


Acquisition of Transport OSI, official carrier of the Fonbrai subsidiary in Trois-Rivières, whose family spirit, employee support and accessibility to members fit in perfectly with Groupe Somavrac.

Acquisition of Javel Bois-Francs, a company specializing in the distribution of chemical products for the maple syrup, agricultural and sanitary sectors. The subsidiary, located in Princeville in the Centre-du-Québec region, markets a wide range of products and formats combined with flexible, rapid delivery.

To be continued

At Groupe Somavrac, we’ve been making business happen since 1963.