Denis Gallagher and Steve Pelecanos are both Master Mariners who, between them, have over 100 years of experience in the maritime industry. They are good friends and have, over many years been involved, either individually, or collaboratively, in a number of ground-breaking projects. They are well-known, both in the Australian and international maritime industries as prudent innovators with an enterprising spirit and an unrelenting force in building success.


A source of enduring frustration has been the dearth of Australian flagged ships involved in servicing the nation’s freight task. Denis and Steve have been monitoring the shipping environment in Australia for over 20 years, waiting for the opportunity to establish their own coastal shipping service. In late 2016 they had determined that the planets had aligned in their favour and undertook a Proof of Concept study. Satisfied that the concept was valid, they then spent 8 months undertaking a detailed feasibility study that gave them the confidence to ultimately commit to establishing a coastal shipping service.


They both understood that the road bringing their aspiration to reality, was one littered with obstacles and it was certainly not a journey to be embarked upon by the feint-hearted. They have developed their Strategic Plan with the help of some of the best minds in the Australian maritime industry. They aim to have four ships operating four different liner services by 2022. The first service will be a Brisbane/Townsville/Brisbane weekly shuttle commencing in September 2020.


Denis went to sea with Alfred Holt’s Blue Funnel Line of Liverpool. Their ships were named after Greek gods. Steve went to sea with the Blue Star Line of London and although there is no relationship to Greek gods, Steve, at least, is of Greek heritage. Through this rather tenuous link, when it came to agreeing on a name for their shipping company they decided to Google, “Greek god for Trade” and came up with the name “Hermes”.


Hence Hermes Maritime Shipping and Logistics was born.