“The Ferreira Pinto Basto is an old and very wealthy family, who ‘increase and multiply’ according to the strictest patriarchal principles, who unite in filial and in brotherly compact, and who form a perfect and beautifully constituted community amongst themselves.

They grow their own corn, olives, fruit, hops and vegetables; rear their own horses, cattle, sheep and swine; make their own bread, wine, butter, cheese and oil, and refine their own sugar and spirits; fabricate their own porcelain and glass; tan their own leather; build their own carriages.

They were the architects and builders of their own extensive establishments; the contractors of public works and also not infrequently of government loans. From the Minho to the Algarve, they have a cordon of “posadas”, or resting places on the road, on their own estates, at one day’s journey from each other.


The success and prestige achieved by Pinto Basto throughout its history of more than two hundred years has always been based on one key concept; a pioneering spirit. Ever since its establishment, Pinto Basto has always been in the forefront of the major events that shaped the history and development of Portugal.

It was Domingos Ferreira Pinto Basto, father of António and José Ferreira Pinto Basto, a merchant from the city of Oporto, who laid the first foundations for the business. Together with his two sons he founded in 1771 an import and export company, which was received with great enthusiasm in business circles. The business operations grew considerably and the Company rapidly gained a leading position in the economic and business life of those times.

Pinto Basto started operating in 1870, in the very same premises which it occupies today. In the meantime, it has diversified its operations and strengthened its ties to maritime transport.

The Company gained such prominence that it came to be elected to preside over the prestigious Lisbon Chamber of Commerce. With this successful background, the Company entered the 20th century with a solid economic position founded on constant modernisation and dynamism, all the while preserving its sense of tradition, elements that have always been at the heart of its activities. This outlook contributed greatly to Pinto Basto’s becoming a reference in the maritime transport sector. An active participation in a large number of associations connected to the core business, as well as in the definition of the sector’s strategies and policies, further document the Company’s prestige.

During the latter half of the 20th century, Pinto Basto has been preparing itself for the future. It has invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology and is carrying out a modernisation programme that enables it to adapt to the major changes taking place in the global market.

The Pinto Basto Group currently comprises a number of companies in the shipping industry, land transport and air cargo sectors. Each company is independent and can rely on an excellent team of professionals while at the same time benefiting from the solidity and prestige of the holding of which they are an integral part. Thanks to the diversification of these companies’ operations, the Group continues to lead the shipping market in Portugal, which is a reflection of its ability to provide immediate responses to its business partners’ needs and demands.

Guided by ethical and moral values at management level and maintaining its employees fully motivated and subject to continuous training, Pinto Basto has reached an outstanding position in the domestic market both in terms of results, innovating capacity and ability to lead changes in its sector.

As market leader in the domestic market Pinto Basto has accrued responsibilities and believes that it must contribute with its example to help the Portuguese industry to assert itself in the global market, sustaining its long time values as well as the national culture.

Barão de Forrester