About Us

Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company was founded over eighty years ago in 1928 with a fundamental service concept. We understand that each customer contract is unique and requires special attention. Every job has different specific details that are important to its successful completion, in a damage free manner.

The name “Nicholson Terminal” has been synonymous with fair dealing in the marine service industry for three generations. Our original policies established many years ago still prevail today.

“Excellent facilities alone, without a proven record for honesty and integrity in dealing with others, is basically worthless”. It is my sincere desire that you subscribe yourself to our only product – SERVICE.

We at Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company are committed to your satisfaction.


President – Daniel J. Deane
Vice President – Terminal Operations – Thomas A.Deane
General Manager of Operations – Brendan J. Deane
Secretary – Donald A. DeLong
Treasurer – Patrick J. Sutka

Board Of Directors

Thomas A. Deane
Daniel J. Deane
Brendan J. Deane
Patrick J. Sutka

Other Officials

Traffic Manager – Richard R. Ayotte

Company History

Joesph R. Deane

Captain William Nicholson and William F. (Frank) Deane Sr. established Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company in February 1928. Captain Nicholson was a renowned navigator in the Great Lakes region during the early 1920’s. His experience and knowledge of the shipping industry helped establish the company as a major player in the marine services business. The company has operated various business units during its history. Nicholson Terminal amp; Dock Company has since its inception been an important above the waterline shipyard and shipping terminal. The business activities and operations include stevedoring, ship repair, and bulk material handling, such as ferrous metal alloy material used in the steel manufacturing process, warehousing and many others.

William F. Deane Sr.

In the early years, the operation of the Nicholson Universal Steamship Company provided significant activity. This venture operated ten Lake Vessels. These vessels carried many commodities, materials and finished goods to ports of the Great Lakes and New York (St. Lawrence Seaway) region. The vessels operated included the Graham C. Woodruff, Coralia, E. C. Pope and seven others. They maintained offices and terminals in cooperation with National Terminals Corporation, in Buffalo, NY.; Chicago,IL.; Detroit, MI.; and Milwaukee, WI.

Captain William Nicholson

Nicholson Transit Company assumed much of the operations of the Nicholson Universal Steamship Company as a result of changes in vessel technology and size. A fleet of nine vessels, including the Pioneer and the Charles Donnelly were maintained. These vessels were equipped with cranes and multiple decks to accommodate different cargo. Most handled cargo included automobiles, pig iron steel trade material, and grain. Nicholson Transit Company was an innovative user of unique decks including tank tops for grain and straight and multiple decks to carry automobiles. These efficiencies helped the company become a leader in the carrier business. Nicholson Transit Company discontinued operations after the 1960-61 shipping season primarily as a result of pressure from the eastern railroad companies. Price slashing and larger ocean bound vessels made using the Great Lakes seaway more expensive and less efficient. As a result of government subsidized railroad competition, the company was forced out of business.

The company also operated the Nicholson Cleveland Terminal. This operation was primarily set up to service the newsprint and automobile industries. Materials including paper pulp and other related products were handled at this site. This business closed in 1974 again as a result of the competition from the eastern railroads.

Company management was transferred to Joseph R. Deane, the son of William F. Deane II, in the 1950’s. The company still remains to this day a family owned and managed business. In the early 1980’s the management control was again passed down to the next generation of the Deane family. Daniel J. Deane assumed control of the company and continues to provide the leadership necessary to compete in the ever-changing marine services business.

In addition to Daniel J. Deane, company management also includes Joseph R. Deane’s three other sons. William F. Deane III is Vice President of Maintenance, Thomas A. Deane is Vice President of Terminal Operations, and Brendan J. Deane is Assistant Secretary and Warehouse Manager.

With a strong history, including very good working relationships, with customers and employees the Company currently offers stevedoring, warehousing, and ship repair services to the marine transportation community.

The Company employs approximately 100 individuals year round and approximately 250 individuals during the peak of the shipping season. The International Association of Machinists Local 698 represents the hourly employees.