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Spliethoff’s Bevrachtingskantoor B.V. was established in 1921 by Johan Frederik Spliethoff as a shipbroker specialising in forest products from the Baltic.
In 1946 the first new vessel, the MV Keizersgracht was delivered. The ship was named after the Amsterdam canal where the company had its offices. Ever since, the vessels have borne the names of canals (‘Gracht’) and this has become the trademark of the company over the years.
Th delivery of the MV Keizersgracht marked the start of a successful shipping company. The fleet grew steadily from two ships in 1946 with a total DWT of 1,360 tonnes to 20 ships in the sixties with a total DWT of around 20,000 tonnes. During this time the ships mainly transported timber from ports in Russia or in countries around the Baltic Sea to ports in Northwest Europe. On the return legs all kinds of cargo was transported. However, the growth of the fleet also changed the field of work. In addition to the traditional transport of timber and timber products many other cargoes were shipped around Europe.
In 1975 Spliethoff ordered the construction of its first series of vessels in Japan. The delivery of these six ships led to a further change. Now the company was operating worldwide. Over 40 ships have been built at the same yard. This long-lasting relationship is typical of those that Spliethoff aims to maintain with its clients.
The Dutch Spliethoff quality of service was also very much appreciated outside of Europe and within a short time span, Spliethoff became well-known, with its ships sailing all over the world. Through the years Spliethoff has built on its quality reputation by constantly keeping the fleet up-to-date, manning it with highly qualified crews and by tailoring its ships to the market in close consultation with the customer.
Still an independent company, today Spliethoff manages a fleet of 50 multipurpose, geared, tweendeck vessels, ranging from 11,000 to 23,000 DWT which all fly the Dutch flag. Being the founding father, Spliethoff can call upon the assistance of the members of the Spliethoff Group: BigLift Shipping, one of the leading operators in the worldwide heavy lift market; Ro-Ro operator Transfennica, Finland’s leading provider of logistic services for the forestry industry and shortsea specialist Wijnne Barends. In total about 100 vessels are operated by the Group.