The history of Blue Water Shipping
Blue Water was founded by Kurt Skov in 1972 in Esbjerg, Denmark
See the milestones in our history
Our history begins in 1972 where the first Blue Water office opened in Esbjerg. With the aim of constantly improving the service for our clients, the company has grown stronger in its more than 40 years within the transport and logistics industry. Today, the company is a global player in the transport market.
In February, Soren N. Thomsen succeeded Kurt Skov as new CEO of Blue Water Shipping. Soren has a long career within the shipping industry in the Maersk organisation. For the past seven years, Soren has performed the function of Managing Director of the shipping line Esvagt in Esbjerg.
Blue Water concentrates a series of activities at a 116,000-sqm multi-terminal in the Esbjerg East Port where we will handle both general cargo and project cargo.
We act as port agent and supplier of a number of services in connection with the transport of foundations to Kriegers Flak Offshore Wind Farm in the Baltic Sea.
With a new cooperation partner – Ekol Logistics – Blue Water aims at increased intermodal and environmentally friendly transport between Denmark and Turkey in the future.
Blue Water signs logistics contract with the Norwegian Armed Forces. The contract runs for seven years and has a value of NOK 315 million.
In July/August, the Port of Esbjerg plays host to the famous Tall Ships Races. Blue Water seizes the opportunity to put up a marquee at our parking area and invites clients and business relations to a barbecue.
We win the contract for logistics to the largest wind farm (149 turbines) “Stockyard Hill” in the southern hemisphere. Our scope of the project includes port handling in China and Australia, chartering of 17 full vessels and heavy haulage from the port of Geelong to project site.
Norwegian shipping line Egil Ulvan Rederi AS opens a new regular freight service between Denmark and Norway with Blue Water as their Danish sales agent.
In July/August, Blue Water acts as logistics partner for the Sailing World Championships. Our responsibilities include transport, logistics, handling and storage of equipment – from small parcels to full containers of equipment.
On 1 October, we take over GFS’ (Greenland Facility Services) facilities and removal firm in Nuuk, Qaqortoq Aasiaat and Ilulissat in Greenland as well as their trawler port calls and cleaning services at the three last-mentioned locations.
We welcome new colleagues at the head of our General Cargo Division. Three new directors join the team: Carsten Nitz/Road, Martin Brandstrup/Sales and Palle Kamstrup/Sea & Air.
As worldwide experts in complex transport, our Houston office executes multiple RTG and STS transport contracts. Part of the contracts covers the transport of eight RTGs on one barge. This specific job includes passage of the Panama Canal requiring careful preparation: engineering work, route planning etc.
Blue Water is active on the Nord stream 2 project – pipeline that will transport natural gas from some of the world’s largest reserves in Russia to Europe. We handle transshipment of pipes – approx. 500 shipments – from the coating ports in Finland and Germany to the two marshalling yards in Hanko, Finland and Karlshamn, Sweden, for which we are responsible for the operation.
We are rolling out Safety Awareness for projects as well as for our many locations. It is Blue Water’s long-term objective to achieve a “Be World Safe” culture.
We expand our Reefer traffics to Southern Europe and takes over the other half of the terminal in Padborg, Denmark from long-time partner Bring Frigo.
We are involved in numerous wind energy projects worldwide, among others:
- Transport of the world’s longest wind turbine blades from Esbjerg to Bremerhaven. Discharging is performed by our joint venture Blue WaterBREB.
- Full transport of 70 wind turbines for the White Rock Wind Far in New South Wales, Australia, shipped from China to Newcastle, Australia followed by a 550-km haulage to the project site.
- Onshore logistics at the wind turbine preassembly site of the Tahkoluoto Offshore Wind farm project in Finland.
- Transport and logistics services to the Higashi Yurihara Wind Farm on the Japanese main island of Honshu.
- Provision of transport and logistics to the first onshore wind farm in Indonesia in close cooperation between the offices in Esbjerg/Denmark, China and Singapore.
A consortium led by Blue Water is awarded an additional contract by TCO – for international transport of modular cargo from the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, via the Russian Inland Waterway System, to Prorva in Kazakhstan. Subsequently, this consortium is entrusted to supply six tugs to assist barges and vessels at Prorva, Kazakhstan.
The biggest cruise ship ever “Norwegian Getaway”, of Norwegian Cruise Lines, calls at Copenhagen. “Norwegian Getaway” does 18 cruises in the Baltic Sea this year with Copenhagen as point of departure and with Blue Water as agents.
Blue Water’s Aid & Relief team provides transport and logistics services to aid projects worldwide, including assistance to aid organisations with providing aid and relief to thousands of hurricane victims in the Caribbean region.
A consortium, led by Blue Water, is awarded a gigantic contract, by the joint venture Tengizchevrol (TCO), for construction of 15 specially designed vessels for an oil project in Kazakhstan. Later in the year, we win another two contracts for TCO.
We establish a joint venture with BREB (Bremer Rederei E & B GmbH) in Cuxhaven, Germany which gives us a hub in Cuxhaven – a terminal for logistics handling within the oil/gas segment.
The reefer activities are booming and we also see a considerable growth in air freight from Asia. Furthermore, we have supplied logistics services to the first offshore wind farm in the US “Block Island".
Two-year contract signed with the Danish Armed Forces for transport to/from the North Atlantic. Contract value DKK 60 m.
We invest DKK 120 m in a new cargo terminal (12,300 m2) and office (1,800 m2) in Taulov (Fredericia municipality, Denmark).
Our Singapore team successfully tows jack-up rig from Brazil to a shipyard in Indonesia, and Blue Water Brest (France) assists Sabella SAS with the installation of their tidal turbine on the seabed off Brittany.
Blue Water takes over Als Logistics in Sonderborg, Denmark, opens an office in Portugal and acquires Norwegian Partner Solution.
Wind projects generate great activity, e.g. transport of turbines/components etc. to wind farms off the Philippines, Holland and UK.
Kurt Skov receives the Silver Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog - and is received in audience by the Queen of Denmark.
In January, Kurt Skov receives the honorary award from Esbjerg Business Development Centre at the annual New Year's reception.
Blue Water Esbjerg achieves recertification in quality and environment (9001/14001) as well as a new certification in health & security (OHSAS 18001).
Blue Water handles logistics and transport of the world's largest wind turbine manufactured by Vestas.
Kurt Skov receives the great honour of being awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog and is received in audience by the Queen of Denmark in order to give expression for his gratitude.
As of 1 September, Blue Water acquires Lovén Spedition in Frederikshavn, Denmark. Blue Water takes over SB Fish - which activities and staff are transferred into our office and terminal in Padborg.
Blue Water Aberdeen, Marseille, Nantes, Brest and Houston obtain certifications according to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety).
In January, Blue Water opens an office in Sydney, Australia to primarily focus on import and export to and from Scandinavia.
Yet another office is opened in January. This time in Frederikshavn, Denmark mainly to concentrate on port agency, stevedoring and other port-related activities.
Lamprell Energy awards the transport of a second jack-up rig to Blue Water. The rig will be moved from Lamprell's Hamriyah Yard in Dubai to Russia.
Blue Water signs its largest contract ever with Keppel FELS covering heavy-lift transportation of five semi-submersible rigs. On 1 March, we open an office in Marseille, France - the gateway to North Africa. The aim is to increase our effort and involvement in the French market for energy and industrial projects.
Blue Water becomes involved in a landmark wind project, the Gwynt Y Mor, offshore wind farm in Great Britain.
Wikeström & Krogius (W&K) - Finland's largest privately owned freight forwarding company - is taken over by Blue Water as from 1 September.
Blue Water opens its second office in Sweden - in Stockholm - as a natural development of our activities in Scandinavia. ACi Transport & Spedition in Malmö, Sweden, is taken over by Blue Water.
800 employees celebrated Blue Water's 40th jubilee.
With a clearance of just a few centimetres, Blue Water was the first company in history to transport cargo with a width of 17.35 m on the Volga-Don river system. The record-breaking transport to the Caspian Sea was the shipment of a specially designed jack-up rig.
1 August was the day when Blue Water Shipping passed 1,000 in number of staff - a milestone in Blue Water Shipping's history. In the mid-eighties, we passed number 100, in 2003 the number was 500 and now we have passed 1,000.
On Saturday 1 September, Blue Water Shipping celebrated its 40th anniversary with a grand party in Esbjerg, Denmark - the birthplace of the company. On the same day, the founder and Managing Director, Kurt Skov, also celebrated his 40th anniversary. 800 of the company's 1,000 employees attended the party. As part of the celebrations, a Blue Water song "The Spirit of Blue Water" was recorded by the employees.
In December, Kurt Skov, Blue Water Shipping's Founder and Managing Director, stepped down and entrusted the chief executive position to Kim Hedegaard Sorensen.
The new year comes off to a festive start with a topping-out ceremony at the future headquarters on Trafikhavnskaj 9.
In Iceland, we establish an office in the country's capital of Reykjavik.
Over the year, Blue Water is involved in several large projects, marking new landmarks and cementing our position as a leading provider of project transports. Several offices are involved in the transport of an FPSO from Singapore to Brazil, we deliver wind turbines to Australia for the first time, and we transport a drilling rig from Dubai into the Caspian Sea.
As the year comes to its conclusion, Blue Water can look back on a very exciting year and record-breaking profits for the Blue Water Group.
The spring of 2010 sees a continious increase in activities, and the many adjustments from 2009 contribute to a positive year end result.
Large initiatives during this year include a tow-year contract with the Danish Defence for transport between Denmark and North America.
Based in Esbjerg, Blue Water Port Services are established with the aim to service Siemens Wind Power from all Danish ports.
In Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro, new offices are opened to handle projects within oil, gas and wind energy.
Offices involved in niche activities such as oil, gas, wind energy, project cargo and food products are developing favourably.
In Malaysia, a new office is opened in Port Klang - an investment for the office in Singapore, which already has many assignments in Malaysia and now has locals on the spot to develop the business.
A subdivision is opened on the island of Romo, close to Esbjerg.
At the beginning of the year, we are given the opportunity of taking over Unifeeder's freight forwarding activities, which includes departments in Aarhus, Copenhagen and Oslo. Furthermore, an office is set up in Vantaa (Helsinki), giving Blue Water full representation by own offices in all of Scandinavia.
A service centre for Tubular Service and a pipe yard for Dong E&P Offshore Base are established in the port of Esbjerg, and shipment of wind turbines continues to be a growing business.
Late in the year, Blue Water opens an office in Doha, Qatar.
Kurt Skov on stage the night he announced the Blue Water Foundation.
Blue Water opens two new offices - in Bremen, Germany and Gothenburg, Sweden. With activities increasing in Greenland, a third office is opened in Ilulissat.
The most important event of the year - for Blue Water - takes place on 21 April in Esbjerg. Kurt Skov transfers 75 per cent of the company shares to a commercial foundation "The Blue Water Foundation" to secure Blue Water's future, its identity, independence and growth.
In the autumn, Blue Water enters into various contracts, e.g. transport of an FSO (floating storage offloading unit) from Singapore to Baku, Azerbaijan.
Blue Water is awarded warehouse and logistics activities for cruise line Holland America Line in Florida and opens an office in Fort Lauderdale.
European road traffic continues to expand.
Blue Water Projects is established in Barcelona, as wind turbine activities get busier than ever.
Blue Water and Smyril Line jointly establish the freight company, Smyril Blue Water, to handle the freight activity based on 120 trailers in operation between Denmark, the Faroes and Iceland.
Blue Water's own Web Booking System Compass is widely recognised by clients in Denmark and the North Atlantic region.
As the year comes to an end, Blue Water is awarded the offshore base contract by the Danish oil company, Denerco Oil, in connection with a drilling operation in the German sector of the North Sea.
The building activities in Blue Water are booming.
In December, the final audit is completed with the achievement of ISO-certification - covering both Blue Water Shipping A/S and Blue Water International A/S.
Blue Water opens in Houston, USA due to increased activities in the oil & gas industry.
A special Projects Department is established in Esbjerg, to take care of worldwide transport of especially heavy and over dimensioned project cargo.
A new office is opened in Herning, Denmark. A new office is established in Sao Paulo.
Blue Water opens an office in New Jersey, USA. Blue Water France celebrates call no. 100 by Caroline Shipping's vessels on the reefer service between France and Russia.
Brazil is busy shipping poultry and meat on Caroline's liner service, by charter vessels and containers to Russia, CIS the Black Sea and the Middle East.
Blue Water's Schiphol office does logistics for Holland America Line (HAL). The intention is to widen the cruise logistics business to other offices worldwide.
Blue Water Singapore secures a contract for the shipment of around 7,000 tons of various kinds of goods to Keppel Fels' Shipyard in Baku - Caspian Shipyard Company.
The windmill business is getting busier in Esbjerg, as Blue Water ships wind turbines to the USA, and the world's biggest wind turbine park is being constructed at Horns Reef off Esbjerg.
In January, a co-operation of long standing with Vesteraalen Shipping, Sortland, Norway results in the Norwegian company CTG - Coldstore and Transport Group - appointing us sales and port agents for their liner service calling at Esbjerg every week from the Norwegian west coast with frozen products.
An oil rig transport from Singapore to Baku is finally completed successfully.
Blue Water becomes member of IELA - International Exhibition Logistic Associates - a worldwide association of exhibition forwarders
In April and May, the first two shipments for Keppel Fels, from Singapore to Baku at the Caspian Sea, are effected. The gigantic rig parts were shipped on heavy lift vessels from Singapore to Mariupol at the Black Sea for transhipment to Russian river vessels and barges for further transportation through the Volga/Don river system to the Caspian Sea. The biggest transport project in the company's history went off without a hitch.
In Greenland, Blue Water opens a second office in Sisimiut to look after trawlers.
Blue Water opens in Aktau, Kazakhstan to strengthen its service to the oil industry in Central Asia.
On 1 April, Blue Water takes over "Kartoffelpakhuset" (storehouse of approx. 5000 sqm.). Blue Water enters the American reefer market.
Following tough negotiation in Singapore, Blue Water is awarded the transport contract for a giant drilling rig from Singapore via the Black Sea to Baku. To supervise the two-year project, Blue Water opens an office in Singapore.
The development in Central Asia continues. In May, Blue Water opens in Tbilisi, Georgia, an important freight corridor between the Black Sea and Central Asia.
On 1 September, the silver jubilee anniversary of Blue Water is celebrated with a big reception party in Esbjerg.
A new division, Oil & Energy, is established to meet the steadily increasing demands within this special field.
The Barcelona office is appointed IATA airfreight agent. In late April, Blue Water Caspian is established. Great things are expected from the activities in connection with the oil industry and also from the transport activities - especially food transport. Blue Water's two Dublin offices merge.
With the opening of an office in Kolding, Blue Water becomes part of the German express and distribution system - CTL.
Haulage business in Great Britain expands to include 80% of fresh fish transport and 20% of continental export. Unfortunately, the business ceases with base activities remaining in Aberdeen only.
Blue Water Dubai sees an explosive increase in the transit transport via Iran to Central Asia - mainly Azerbaijan. Blue Water Aalborg succeeds in getting a five-year contract with the Thule Air Base.
Blue Water Stevedoring does well in its first year, and Blue Water Greenland is appointed agent for Lloyd's of London. Blue Water opens an office in Moscow. 1 March Blue Water Barcelona sees the light of day.
An office is established in Ipswich, England in order to intensify the contact to our customers in the South of England. On 1 September, a new cold store/terminal is opened in Padborg to accommodate increased quantities of fresh fish.
Shipping activities develop favourably in Denmark, Holland, France, England and Ireland. New initiatives are Blue Water Stevedoring, potato shipments from France and groupage service to the Middle East, West Africa, the Far East and South America.
Blue Water is busy with the handling and transport of fish products from Greenland, the Faroes, Norway and Denmark. The air freight activity is progressing.
The co-operation with Dansk Eksportforening (The Danish Export Association) results in a lot of exhibition business, and an extended agency network in the Far East ensures a bigger share in imports for Blue Water.
M/S "Norröna" is fully booked on several departures from Hanstholm to Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Shetland. Knud Sørensen Shipping becomes an integral part of Blue Water Esbjerg.
Blue Water opens an office in Dubai, U.A.E.
In cooperation with the Esbjerg Business Academy, Blue Water starts its own vocational education of trainees. According to the F.D.E. (the Association of Danish Export Hauliers), Blue Water Transport is now the tenth biggest haulage contractor in Denmark.
Kurt Skov is awarded the Trade and Industrial Prize "The Golden Anvil" by the regional daily paper "Jydske Vestkysten".
The year starts with the takeover of P.J. Transport and a busy Hirtshals office, transporting fish to Europe from the Faroes. Blue Water opens an office in Greenland.
Increased business in Holland results in a Blue Water office in Amsterdam. France is also busy. A new organisation is launched and activities are divided into shipping and forwarding. Traffic Managers are responsible for cross services. A merger takes place between the road transport department (groupage) in Esbjerg and Blue Water Transport.
Blue Water opens in Brest, assisting the Lorient office, and several agency agreements are brought into effect. In March, an office is opened in Canada, and Blue Water, Hanstholm, takes over the agency for Smyril Line.
Blue Water Transport is converted into a 100% Blue Water controlled company. The staff of the Padborg office increase in order to cope with the growing number of trucks on the service to/from Germany. In October, Blue Water opens in Hirtshals.
An overall Management Group is established, consisting of Kurt Skov, Carsten Eskildsen, Allan Junge, and Jørn Bøllund.
Activities continue to expand, greatly assisted by the continuous implementation of new technology. On 1 December, Blue Water Odense is established. The merger between Blue Water and Kurt Beier is finally approved, bringing the total number of trailers in Blue Water Transport up to 40.
Blue Water is appointed Danish general agent for Baltic Line A/S, Sandnes. Shipbroking business explodes, and groupage traffic increases. In February, Blue Water Shipping, Hamburg opens.
On 1 September, we enter into co-operation with the courier company DHL. The old warehouse in Esbjerg is demolished and replaced by a new insulated cold store, as the shipment of foodstuff to the Middle East continues. Blue Water Transport becomes a reality with the acquisition of a haulage company.
Blue Water office opens in Aalborg. Blue Water is part owner of Esbjerg Cold Store's ultra-modern 4,000 sq.m. cold store.
Following a successful reefer shipment of feta cheese to Iran, a permanent cooperation is established with Irano-Hind. On 1 December, Blue Water acquires the shipping company, Knud Sørensen Shipping.
Reefer departures from Ireland to Eqypt become regular. Every month, an average of 4,000 tons foodstuff are shipped by Lauritzen Reefers from Denmark, Holland, and France to the Middle East. Blue Water buys the old customs house in Esbjerg for DKK 1.2 million.
Claus Sorensen A/S, Blue Water Shipping A/S and Greenland partners jointly establish Polar Line (export of shrimp and fish products from the North Atlantic to Denmark). On 1 September, Blue Water opens in Copenhagen.
Warehouse capacity is extended considerably. Unfortunately, business decline in Norway results in the closure of Blue Water Stavanger. A small office is reopened in Esbjerg Airport.
Blue Water is appointed Lauritzen Reefer liner agent for the entire Western Europe. Reefer vessels sail from Esbjerg, Flushing and Lorient every month carrying foodstuffs for the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. In October, Blue Water Stavanger is opened. The groupage service to West Germany, Holland, France, and Austria is expanded.
Blue Water buys a truck and trailer for the regular service between Esbjerg and Manchester, and the Dublin branch office moves into new office and warehouse facilities. As part of the Middle East concept, we set up Lorient Shipping in France in December. In cooperation with Juhl & Ehrhorn, Blue Water starts United Stevedoring in the port of Esbjerg. More warehouse and storage facilities are acquired. Blue Water is transformed into a limited liability company (Ltd.) with a share capital of DKK 2 million.
Blue Water takes over the company and business of K.Dideriksen, including a large warehouse and open storage area. A new two-storey office is built next to the warehouse.
Blue Water Rotterdam is established, and in Esbjerg, a separate, new offshore department is servicing the oil industry and its rapidly increasing demands for service and transport. On 24 November, the Port of Esbjerg is flooded and more than 30 Blue Water people are temporarily unable to leave the office.
Blue Water Padborg opens on 1 March. With new agency agreements, groupage service is offered to Austria and France. Warehouse capacity is increased again. The office space in Esbjerg is becoming insufficient.
Warehouse capacity is increased with a lease of part of a warehouse in the port of Esbjerg. On 1 September, Blue Water buys Spedition Berner. The Arabian Gulf service continues - Blue Water acts as agent for Amaltex, Paris.
Blue Water's business is split into activities: UK/Ireland, air freight, shipping, and road transport. A proper accountant is employed, and we are appointed IATA agents. As the only forwarding company at the time, Blue Water opens an office in Dublin.
Air freight business continues to grow, and the Middle East service becomes regular. Blue Water starts a pony truck service to West Germany and the activities are extended by road transport to other European countries: Benelux, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Scandinavia.
Feta cheese export with reefer ships becomes good business, shipping crates of cheese from the port of Esbjerg.
In April, Blue Water takes over the lease for 150 sq.m. warehouse situated 3 kilometres from the port of Esbjerg. The position as an all-round local forwarding company is extended. Blue Water is appointed agents for Dolphin Reefer Line, running a liner service from Esbjerg to the Middle East.
Kurt Skov buys out the two Copenhagen shipping companies out and takes over the business himself.
Blue Water's clientel continues to expand, and Blue Water Manchester is established. Further to the traffic to England, a regular groupage trailer service runs between Esbjerg and Dublin in Ireland.
A regular groupage service to Manchester is established. With our first female colleague, the number of employees increases to 5.
Kurt Skov (first from the right) and Jørn Bøllund (second from the left) in front of Esbjerg Airport with Blue Water's first two employees.
Blue Water is busy with increased ship broking and general freight forwarding. The office moves to Esbjerg Port, and two trainees are taken on.
The first Blue Water office.
Blue Water Shipping is established on 1 September as a private limited company by two Copenhagen shipping companies, N.Schiøtt & Hochbrandt and Fellowship I/S.
A 20 sq.metre office in Esbjerg Airport is shared by the three employees: Kurt Skov, Bjørn Siig and Jørn Bøllund.