THE WORLD’S YOUNGEST FLEET
SHIPPING: With new international rules for tankers, Herning Shipping is well on course for the future. As old ships are sold, new ones constantly arrive
Herning Shipping is one of the most rapidly growing companies in the industry –last year it received delivery of a new tanker every month. The growth of the fleet is expected to continue this year, with contracts in place for building new ships, and several new timecharter ships for delivery in 2007 and 2008. Organic growth over the next couple of years is likely to bring the total fleet up to around 50 ships. Herning Shipping will probably own half of this total, while the rest will be on timecharter.
The newbuild programme is the result of a globalisation strategy initiated by the company a few years ago. From being a small speciality shipping company operating in northern and western Europe with oil and chemical tankers in the 500 – 6,000 DWT range, Herning Shipping is today steaming ahead towards a real global presence. A new office in Singa-pore will ensure the company’s growth in the Far East. Herning Shipping also has a company in southern France, which coordinates activities in the Mediterranean and Africa. By virtue of its newbuild programme, the company also has a presence in China, Indonesia and Turkey.
Herning Shipping’s strategy has given it one of the world’s youngest fleets, with an average age of 5.4 years. The tonnage of the ships is also increasing. Three of the new vessels for delivery this year will be over 11,000 DWT.
Director Lars Vang Christensen
All ports are reachable
The new and larger ships together with the existing fleet expand Herning Shipping’s possibilities. “Larger ships give us more flexibility, so we can offer a better service to our customers, without compromising our fast and reliable quality transportation of liquid products in bulk directly from large oil companies or from customer to customer. Our ships can call at any port and navigate straits, rivers and canals which are unnavigable to others,” says director Lars Vang Christensen, Herning Shipping.
Lars Vang Christensen backs this up by saying that Herning Shipping’s fleet made over 600 calls to port per quarter in 2006, demonstrating the company’s ability to optimise its logistics.
“Tank cleaning is a good example of our quality and environmentally friendly shipping. In just a couple of hours we can change product, which can range from heating oil to exquisite wines. Few others can do that. It gives us a flexibility which benefits both ourselves and our loyal customers.”
Herning Shipping’s transport quality has helped it gain several long-term contracts with global oil companies. Two thirds of the company’s revenue comes from contracts of affreightment, while the rest comes from the spot market. Normally such a split provides a low risk profile, but does not generate strong growth. However Herning Shipping has achieved around 20% annual growth in available tonnage.
“The new international rules for tankers, which came into force from the start of this year, mean that many older ships will have to be scrapped or rebuilt,” says Lars Vang Christensen. “We have already started doing it. With the global economy looking as it does now, the future for quality transportation of refined products looks bright. There is more need for us today than ever before.”
The Oil Queen of Herning
The history of Herning Shipping centers around “the Oil Queen of Herning”, Vitta Lysgaard. Together with her husband Peder Lysgaard, Vitta in 1958 established Uno-X, an oil company which achieved immediate success, with petrol stations all over the country. To ensure oil and petrol supplies, the couple founded a small shipping company in 1963.
When her husband died four years later, Vitta showed her true character. Widowed with three children, she ran both the oil company and shipping fleet single-handed. Her eldest son Knud later joined the firm and together they sailed the company to success. Uno-X was eventually sold, and when her son died in 2001, Vitta decided at the ripe old age of 71 to take over the management of Herning Shipping as.
This page forms part of the publication 'FOCUS Denmark' as chapter 16 of 23
Version 1. 22-05-2007
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