Aleson Shipping Lines, Inc., founded in 1976 in Zamboanga, initially started with MV Estrella del Mar, serving passengers and transporting rice. In the 1980s, the company ventured into the cargo business and acquired its first cargo vessel, MV Aleson. More cargo ships were acquired in the 1980s for expanded services and also had voyages to Singapore for trade. In the 1990s, the company focused on the passenger/ro-ro sector, adding more vessels and opening a pioneering route between Zamboanga Port and Sandakan Port, Malaysia in 1994. In 1999, the company expanded into containerizing cargoes and bought its first fast craft, MV Seajet, in 2004. Currently, Aleson operates a fleet of 25 vessels and is the dominant shipping operator in Western Mindanao.