Press release 05 April 2011
tom Wörden shipping company celebrates its 100th anniversary
Anniversary in May 2011 – the family-run company from Oldendorf has 31 ships worldwide
Oldendorf. The tom Wörden shipping company from Oldendorf near Stade will celebrate its
100th anniversary on 20 May 2011. Since its foundation in 1911, the company has grown from a one-man
business to an entire company group, which currently runs 31 of its own ships and five ships on management.
The shipping company’s fields of activity are mainly divided into two areas: the carriage of general cargo
throughout Europe and global container shipping.
The ‘Baltic fleet’ currently consists of 16 multipurpose vessels with load capacities from 4,300 to 7,100 dwt
(deadweight tonnage), which are predominantly contracted by Scandinavian wood companies for carrying
forest products to ports in the North, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas. The three Logger XXL-type sister
ships "Aland", "Finnland" and "Seeland" offer the largest capacity (7,100 dwt) and were put into service
in 2006 and 2007. In 2010, the total transport volume reached approximately 3.8 million metric tonnes which,
even after the crisis hit in 2009, was slightly above figures recorded for 2007 and 2008.
The ‘container fleet’ is currently made up of 20 ships with capacities of between 500 to 4,440 containers (TEU).
During the past four years, it has grown sharply. Five ships have been acquired in the last 18 months alone,
including the newly built Panamax vessels "Moranto", "Makita" and "Mereda". These ships were constructed
at the DSME shipyard in South Korea and each have a container capacity of 4,400 TEU. In July 2010,
the Peterswerft shipyard in Wewelsfleth also completed the construction of the 900 TEU container ship "Meera",
and the purchase of the "Macuba" (1,122 TEU) in December of the same year completed the current fleet.
‘The charter business for container ships has developed favourably in the last 12 months and has recovered
even better than expected from the slump following the 2009 economic crisis,’ says Company Director
Klaus tom Wörden. ‘Therefore, we have invested more in this area and, with the newly built Panamax vessels
from South Korea, now have three flagships on board.’
The roots of the family-run company lie in classic coastal shipping. On 20 May 1911 in Gräpel on the banks
of the Oste, Klaus Wilhelm tom Wörden (1875–1944) started as master/owner with the three-masted gaff
schooner "Wilhelm", which he used to carry wood and general cargo on the North and Baltic Seas. During the
following years, business went so well that before the Second World War, he owned several motorised,
larger vessels, including the three-masted gaff schooner "Ingeborg II" and the coastal motor ship
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the shipping company was left with no vessels. It was not until
1950 that business began again, this time with the "Klaus Wilhelm", which was built at the Rickmers shipyard
in Bremerhaven. The next few years were marked by prosperity once more, and several multipurpose vessels
with load capacities of around 1,000 dwt were purchased, which also resulted in the rapid expansion of
trading areas. In 1979, the shipping company commissioned its first container vessel, the "Navalis".
Constructed in Singapore, this ship heralded the beginning of the container fleet.
Despite its significant growth, the shipping company has always remained a family business. Since 1985,
the fourth generation of the tom Wörden family has held the reigns of the company and group which,
alongside the original business Schiffahrtskontor tom Wörden GmbH & Co. KG, now also includes
Navalis Shipping GmbH & Co. KG, Nautic Service- und Treuhandgesellschaft mbH, Ocean Marine Management GmbH
and Manx Ocean Group Ltd. The company’s headquarters are located in Oldendorf near Stade, with other
offices situated in Hamburg, Riga and the Isle of Man. Overall, the company employs some 560 staff members
on land and at sea.
For the future, the company management aims to expand the areas of ship management and investment further.
‘We will continue to invest in high-quality ships, whilst maintaining these values through a long-term
corporate philosophy,’ says Klaus tom Wörden. ‘In order to achieve this, both vessel design and technology
must be efficient and durable. We also place paramount importance on upholding open and trusting dialogue
with all of our partners on the chartering side and at the finance level.’
Klaus tom Wörden|