GS Lines is the result of an acquisition process of shipowners initiated in 1990 with the purchase of Empresa de Navegação Madeirense, Box Lines in 2010 and Portline Containers International (PCI) in 2015. Currently, GS Lines operates 6 vessels – 5 of them owned and 1 chartered – with a total capacity of 5,765 containers, on the maritime lines between mainland Portugal, Azores and Madeira, Spain (Canary Islands and Algeciras), Cape Verde (Praia, Mindelo, Sal and Boavista) and Guinea-Bissau.


In 1985, the Grupo Sousa was founded.

This increase in the market meant that the “Funchalense III” became small for the Leixões-Madeira traffic, so that, since 2005, there was already a search for a vessel that would serve the line for the needs of the time, as well as in a perspective of future evolution. There were no vessels available on the market, either to buy or to charter, so it was only in January 2006 that the purchase of a vessel, “CMA CGM Caracas”, was guaranteed, but it would only be free to operate in December 2006, taking on the name of “Madeirense 3” at that time.

The steady growth of the Leixões line led to the replacement of FUNCHALENSE in 2006 by a larger container ship, named MADEIRENSE 3
in Enterprise of Madeirense Navigation 1907-2007, Luís Miguel Correia, page 118, image 137 to 138.

With the entry into service of “Madeirense 3”, the difficulties that had been felt, in the port of Leixões, in the operation of the “Funchalense” by Empresa de Navegação Madeirense, which could no longer meet the entire request for cargo for shipment, causing the diversion of containers to be shipped by the port of Lisbon, were overcome. This fact had negative consequences, not only for Empresa de Navegação Madeirense, but also for its customers.
In 2010, Empresa de Navegação Madeirense acquired “Funchalense 5”, a modern vessel, which has its initial port of call, in Portugal, on the 17th of August 2010. With its 443 effective TEUS and more than 5,500 tons of cargo capacity, it guaranteed the transport of all foreseeable cargo for the near future. Also the speed of “Funchalense 5”, which can reach 18.5 knots, ensures strict compliance with the established services, which was already happening with “Madeirense 3”, but with a much greater safety margin.

These two variables (capacity and speed) combine to provide a sense of high quality to the Autonomous Region of Madeira, perceived by our customers, who will in fact be the main beneficiaries of this important investment. Note the evolution of a company (and the world): In 83 years (since our first motorboat) we went from “Funchalense I”, which transported around 300 tons of cargo and made the trip Lisbon – Madeira in about 4 days, to “Funchalense 5” which can carry more than five thousand tons of cargo and can make the same trip in about 28 hours.

In 2010, Grupo Sousa acquires the shipowner Box Lines, responsible for the maritime connection between mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira. This contribution of experience was essential for Grupo Sousa’s growth in the coverage of maritime lines in the national market. 
In 2015, the Group acquired PCI, which currently operates international lines between Portugal, Algeciras, Las Palmas, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau with its own vessel (M/V Raquel S – the largest and most modern container vessel owned by national shipowners), and 3 charterers.

In 2019, the goods transport service between mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira is now provided by GS Lines, which operates four vessels, two of which are its own vessels (Funchalense 5 and Laura S) and two are chartered-in.

In November 2019, Portline Containers International (PCI) became part of GS Lines, in a process of acquisition of shipowners initiated in 1990, with the purchase of the Empresa de Navegação Madeirense, Box Lines in 2010, and PCI in 2015.

In 2022 it acquires the container ship N/M Ferdinanda S, “twin” of the Raquel S vessel, with a cargo capacity of 1577 TEU.