Rand Logistics Inc. (Nasdaq: RLOG) has acquired a chemical tanker for an undisclosed amount.

The tanker will be converted into a river class self-unloader vessel, and will be used for new contracts the company has that begin in April 2015. The ship was sold by Middelfart, Denmark-based transportation company Uni-Tankers AS.

The new tonnage that we have secured is in addition to the more than 250 sailing days of new business that we have been awarded for the 2014 sailing season and have previously announced," says Scott Bravener, president of Lower Lakes Towing, an operating subsidiary of Rand. 

Rand, headquartered in New York, provides bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region. After the deal closes, the company will have 10 Canadian vessels and seven U.S. vessels that provide bulk carrying services. 

In December, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) agreed to buy two PE-backed shipping companies, adding to continuous consolidation in the shipping industry. In July, Knot Offshore Partners LP (NYSE: KNOP) agreed to buy Knutsen Shuttle Tankers 13 AS, which owns a deadweight ton tanker. 

Shippers have also landed on our Distressed Company Watch List. For more, see "Eagle Bulk Joins List of Shippers Struggling from Low Charter Rates," and "Floundering FreeSeas Negotiates With Lender." 

For more on shipping, see "Wilbur Ross Still Trolling for Shipping Deals."

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