From the news: New shipping company established in Risør – 92 years after the last one

This article was originally published in Aust-Agder Blad in Norwegian (behind paywall). Original text and photography by Iver Sørdahl, Aust-Agder Blad

THE SHIPOWNER: – Thomas Christensen came by one evening and asked if I wanted to help start a shipping company, says Martin Hauge (pictured), who is now one of Risør’s newest shipowners. Photo: Iver Sørdahl

Thomas Christensen and Martin Hauge decided earlier this year to try their hand at shipowners after Christensen had heard of a ship that could be for sale. He had received a tip that some of the owners wanted to exit and that it might be possible to make a good deal, says Hauge.

Risør shipping

The two men soon agreed that they would each have 50 percent of the new shipping company. It didn’t quite work out that way. “We thought this was such good news that we wanted to share it with our good friend and super entrepreneur Håkon Aanonsen. It ended with him also becoming a co-owner of the company”, says Hauge.

Risør Shipping has an address at Tangengata 51 in Risør. We are in an industry that is well suited to a municipality like Risør. With Risør in the name, the new shipowners believe it will give them traction in the promotion of the shipping company.

We immediately gave the shipping company the name Risør Shipping. Not only because we are based in Risør, but because we think it will be good marketing to have Risør in the name, says Hauge.

Favourable rates

The world situation has led to increased prices for many goods and services, including the transport of goods. “We transport, among other things, grain and steel. There are extremely good rates for such shipping at the moment”, says Hauge.

Their bulk carrier M/V “Helene Julie” of 9,000 gross tons, goes between North Africa and other ports in the Mediterranean and European ports, mostly. At the time of writing, she is in Ipswich, England, where she has unloaded at the Orwell bulk terminal.

“The ship sails on a so-called time charter; that is, a client hires the ship for a period of time, and can transport whatever dry bulk they wish between whichever ports they want within the hire period. There is great demand for this type of charter now”, says Hauge.

M/V “Helene Julie”

The 136 meter long and 21 meter wide ship with a displacement of 14,000 deadweight tonnes, built in 2004, currently sails under the Dutch flag, but will soon be reflagged.

With an address at Tangen in Risør, we want our ships to sail under the Norwegian flag. The registration process to get “Helene Julie” into the Norwegian international ship register NIS is underway.

After registration in the ship register, “Helene Julie” will have Risør as its registered home port. Being a native of Risør will be good marketing, says Hauge, who went to sea as a 17-year-old. His father and grandfather had been at sea. For him it was a natural career choice. “I sailed as an engineer on a bulk ship that went to Japan, Australia and the USA, among other places. During the scant year I was out, I managed to cross the Pacific Ocean”, the man who started with twine and plaster rags and ended up as a shipowner, says.

“Risør Shipping is establishing itself in the dry cargo market at a favorable time, which lays the foundation for growth. The positive trend corresponds perfectly with our entry into the market. Our ambitions are to get more ships eventually”, concludes Hauge.

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