Sulpicio Lines Inc. is one of the largest inter-island shipping companies in the Philippines, with a fleet of 16 passenger/ cargo vessels, 16 cargo and container vessels, 3 tugboats and 5 barges—a total tonnage of over 127,100, serving secondary and tertiary routes all over the Philippines.
The company was founded in 1973, with the objective of furthering economic progress by providing necessary linkages among islands. To date, inter-island shipping remains the single most important and cost-effective means of transporting goods and people in the Philippines.
A family corporation, Sulpicio Lines is now being run by 2nd and 3rd generation descendants of founder Don Sulpicio Go. Executives still involve themselves in the day-to-day operations of the business, giving individual clients direct and personal access to top management.
A new generation of leaders is helping steer Sulpicio Lines into the 21st century. The company strives to further strengthen all aspects of operation with particular emphasis on research and development. Top priorities include constant upgrading of the fleet, and the full growth of its market. Integration of new technology into the company system is already underway, with the purpose of making it simpler and more efficient for clients to avail of their services.
The founder Go Guioc So, more popularly known as Don Sulpicio Go, was a self-made man. He was an Amoy merchant who came to the Philippines with his brothers and sisters in 1919. With his brother, he set up base in Naval, Leyte.
Starting with one 50-ton sailboat, the brothers would bring their goods to the neighboring islands, going as far as Samar. Sailing would later on open possibilities for shipping.
Don Sulpicio Go became General Manager of Carlos A. Gothong Shipping Lines in 1946. He became a managing partner of the company in 1953 and by the 1960s steered it to the top of the shipping industry.
In 1973, he decided to venture on his own. He founded Sulpicio Lines with his sons, starting with a fleet of 17 vessels, 1 tugboat and 5 barges (total tonnage=16,936). Over 40 years of sailing experience helped him to make the most stable decisions for the company's benefit. Encouraging full participation of his sons, he instilled values of loyalty, dedicated service, fairness and honesty in all dealings. He was known to often be the first to arrive and the last to leave the office. His example of hard work inspired other people in the organization to do the same.
As a philanthropist, he extended help to institutions like the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, which provides emergency medical care and prompt assistance to citizens, and the Filipino-Chinese Fire Brigade, a Cebu-based response group known for its swift response to fire emergencies. He also believed that education was crucial to an individual's success and gave away many scholarships to underprivileged but deserving students. His efforts are being continued to date, this time by the next generation of Sulpicio Lines scions.
Sulpicio Lines later on branched out to other shipping-related industries such as copra trading, general merchandising, fabrication and repair, trucking and towage. All these subsidiaries were put up to complement its core business, shipping, and to facilitate movement for staff and clients alike. Sulpicio Marketing, for instance, relieves Filipino copra farmers of their transportation burden. It serves as their channel to the oil mills, facilitating the growth of the copra industry as well as making it more efficient for oil mills to source their raw materials.
Over the years, challenges beset the company, but taking from its founder's trademark perseverance, Sulpicio Lines bounced back to rank among the top companies in the country's shipping industry.
Now among the top earners in a capital-intensive industry, the company serves nearly all ports in the country. Its total tonnage of over 114,000 is a seven-fold increase from its original tonnage, and its offices and operations have already branched out into all key cities in the Philippines . Its offices and agencies enjoy a nationwide presence with over 2,500 employees.
Sulpicio Lines Official website 2005. (accessed on September 11, 2007).