Grieg Star is a part of the history of the Grieg Group, which started with shipbroker Joachim Grieg in 1884. In 1961 Star Shipping was established, and through the years the company has had changing partners up until the joint venture of G2 Ocean with Gearbulk. Our main interest has since 1961 been the world wide trade of wood pulp and paper, but Grieg Star has also been an active operator withing conventional bulk. However, as the benefits of our specialised ships became evident, other industries have also come to prefer our service. Here is a timeline of our history:
Joachim Grieg sets up his shipbroker business in Bergen, Norway.
Per Waaler established AS Star Shipping November 24th 1959, but the company was not formally registered until April 11th, 1961.
The Star Pool
In November 1962 the Star Pool came into effect, formalised February 5th 1963. Star Shipping and Westfal-Larsen & co agreed to make vessels available for a joint shipping operation.
The first subsidiary
Star Shipping’s first subsidiary was established in Sidney, Australia in 1963. The year after an office was established in New York, and in 1966 in Vancouver. Our global presence started…
Star Bulk Shipping
The Star Pool agreement was even more formalised, as Star Bulk Shipping Company was formed on September 18th, with Westfal-Larsen & co and Star Shipping as equal owners. The operation continued to be based on pool ships nominated by the partners. Per Waaler relinquished the name “Star” to the pool. His ship-owning company turned into a partnership with among others Per Grieg, and changed name to Billabong.
The first ships were equipped with gantry cranes to secure more accurate stowage and larger output per hour. The gantry cranes stayed on as preferred cranes on the Star vessels until the L-class was acquired in 2012.
The first long time contract
The company’s first long contract was signed in 1965: packaged lumber from British Columbia to Australia. Further contracts were signed the following year. Our focus on long term relationships with customers started in earnest.
In a board meeting in Star Bulk Shipping on September 13th, 1965, it was decided to order three Open Hatch vessels, the first in the Star system. Since then, the Open Hatch vessels have been the backbone of the Star fleet.
The Star Shipping Group start its first trips with cars as cargo, transporting Toyotas from Japan to the USA.
A new partner
Fred Olsen & co closed down their Fred Olsen Line, and entered as a 30% owner of Star Bulk Shipping alongside Per Waaler/Per Grieg controlled Billabong and Westfal-Larsen & co.
Star decided to invest in Squamish Terminals in British Columbia in 1971. Three years later Star was the sole owner. To this day Grieg Star is the proud owner of Squamish Terminals.
The funnel and the flag
To reflect that Star has advanced from being a bulk transporter, the name of the company changed to Star Shipping. At the same time the a common identity is approved, giving all the vessels Star names and yellow funnels with the star flag – a tradition we carried out until recently.
Selling the cars
Star decided to sell its car transportation business in 1972, to refocus on forest products and bulk transportation. The car transportation business continued under the NOSAC name, and is in the end integrated in Wilhelmsen Lines’ ro/ro services in 1996.
Waaler dies unexpectedly
On his way to negotiate a contract with Toyota, Per Waaler, who has led Star Shipping since the beginning, was killed in a plane crash November 28. Bjørn Østervold took over as managing director.
Star Shipping entered into a pool with greek shipping company Rethymnis and Kulukundis in 1973. The Conventional Bulk-Carriers Division (CBCD) was established. The partnership secured a growth in CBCD from 2 million tons cargo shipped in 1972 to 12 million tons in 2000.
Star entered an agreement with Atlantic Cargo Service of Gothenburg on container trade between Northern Europe and the US Gulf.
And then they were two...
Fred Olsen & co sold their shares in Star in 1988, and the original partners were left alone as owners in a 50/50 split.
Star took over Atlanticargo from Atlanticargo Cargo Service in 1991. Ten years later Star acquired the general agency in Gothenburg from ACS as well.
Westfal-Larsen & co decided to sell their Star vessels to a new company founded by the Westfal-Larsen brothers in Singapore: Masterbulk. Masterbulk took over the Westfal-Larsen position in Star Shipping.
A new generation
The last of the first generation owners and gründers retired in 2001. At an age of 70, Per Grieg left his place on the board to his daughter Camilla Grieg.
No more Billabong
The ship owning company Billabong changed name to Grieg Shipping II in 1994. In 2006 the Ship Management company changed name from Grieg Billabong to Grieg Shipping group.
The Star organisation and business was divided between the owners. Grieg continued to operate a slimmer Star Shipping, while Masterbulk sat up their own organisation. Star Shipping was integrated as a part of Grieg Star, moving its headquarters to Grieg Gaarden in Bergen, with Camilla Grieg as CEO and Elisabeth Grieg as Chair of the Board.
Grieg Star established Grieg Green, a company focussing on sustainable recycling of ships, later on also rig recycling and IHM.
Building the fleet
One of the biggest new building programs started in 2012. Grieg Star ordered 10 identical Oen Hatch vessels, leaving the gantry crane for the first time since 1965.
Grieg Star entered into a new pool, this time with long time competitor Gearbulk. The intentions were announced in the fall of 2016, and May 1st 2017, the joint venture was established: G2 Ocean, the world’s biggest Open Hatch company.
Camilla Grieg retired as CEO, and replaced Elisabeth Grieg as Chair of the Board. New CEO was Matthew Duke.