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Our history

What started as a Norwegian family business with one vessel, is now a publicly listed company and a world-leading logistics service provider for chemicals and other specialty bulk liquids. The chemicals and liquids Odfjell ships carry and our terminals store are vital building blocks for a multitude of everyday products. Since 1914, we have unfolded our story in every corner of the world.


1890 Captain Berendt Daniel Olsen moves to Bergen with his family to become part of
modern shipping: steam and steel  
1914 17 November: First Odfjell ship owning company is formally registered, AS DS Birk
1915 The Odfjell brothers, Fredrik and Abraham Odfjell, incorporate AS Rederiet Odfjell
1921 Odfjell makes a brief entry into the tanker trade with the SS Vaarli, rebuilt as a
1938 Odfjell makes a small re-entry into the tanker trade with the newbuilding MT Lind
1940 World War II: Odfjell fleet is split. Three ships in home waters and four on
high seas. Home fleet suffers devastating losses
1946 Bow is used as the name prefix on an Odfjell vessel for the first time
1950s Most Odfjell ships are dry cargo line vessels, but small specialized tankers
become increasingly important
1960 Odfjell takes delivery of the world’s first stainless tanker, MT Lind

Steam and Steel

SS Vaarli officers

First Tanker SS Vaarli

1963 Dan Odfjell establishes Minde Chartering, Odfjell’s own marketing organization
1969 Opening of the first Odfjell tank terminal, the TAGSA in Buenos Aires
1973 The business is split into two parts: AS Rederiet Odfjell for shipping, and Odfjell
Drilling for offshore oil exploration
1973 Opening of the new Odfjell headquarters at Minde, Bergen
1975 Delivery of the first 12 Polish built chemical tankers
1979 The Company is split into two independent parts, one for each branch of the family

Cooperation with Westfal-Larsen is strenghtened through the establishment of
OWL Tankers

In convoy during WW2

Bernt Daniel & Johan Odvar Odfjell

Bow Future Project

1983 Opening of the Baytank in Houston
1986 Storli is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange
Late 1980s Filipino crew start being employed on our ships
1990 NCC of Saudi Arabia replaces Westfal-Larsen as our main chemical tanker
1992 Acquisition of minority share in the Vopak Terminal Ningbo
1994 Delivery of first of 16 new state of the art stainless chemical tankers, the
Kvaerner series

Establishment of Odfjell Terminals (Dalian)

1998 Company name is changed from Storli to Odfjell

The second Poland class: delivery of four 6,000 dwt fully stainless
chemical tankers

1999 Venture into the iso-container business

Kvaerner Series

Philippino Crew onboard

Odfjell Baytank Houston

2000 The Botlek terminal in Rotterdam is aquired and renamed Odfjell Terminals
2001 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals
2002 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Odfjell Terminals (Korea)
2003 – 2007 The third Poland class: delivery of eight 40,000 dwt fully stainless steel
chemical tankers
2003 Odfjell Academy training center established in Subic, Zamales, Philippines
2004 Fleet Asia is established with ship management of some vessels out of

Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Exir Chemical Terminal (PJSCO),

Iran, and Odfjell Terminals (Jiangjin), China

2007 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals (Oman)
2007 Gross revenue exceed USD 1 billion for the first time
2008 Odfjell Philippines, Inc. is established

New Poland Class

Odfjell Academy Philippines

Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam

2010 Construction of a new terminal in Charleston, USA, starts
2011 Odfjell partners with Lindsay Goldberg for the terminals business
2011 Signing the United Nations Global Compact
2012 Odfjell Terminals starts construction of Odfjell Nangang Terminals (Tianjin), China,
and becomes a partner in Noord Natie Odfjell Terminals in Antwerp, Belgium
2012 Re-entering into the gas segment by the establishment of Odfjell Gas Carriers
2013 Delivery of the world’s largest chemical tanker, Bow Pioneer
2013 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Quanzhou (Fujian), China
2014 Celebrating 100 year anniversary

Noord Natie Antwerp Terminal

Bow Pioneer

Charleston Terminal

2014 Opening of Odfjell Terminals (Charleston), USA
2014 Odfjell partners with affiliates of Breakwater Capital and Oak Hill Advisors to form
a liquefied petroleum gas and ethylene (LPG/E) shipping joint venture
2014 Odfjell Gas enters into pool agreement with Lauritzen Kosan
2015 Odfjell starts upgrading propulsion system for 19 vessels to optimize energy
2015 Odfjell Academy’s training facilities are transferred to the Manila office
2015 Odfjell exits European regional trade
2016 Odfjell sells share of Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals & Co. LLC in Oman

Newbuilding contracts are signed with China Shipbuilding Trading CO., Ltd. and
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) CT., Ltd. for construction of a series of
4+2+2 54,600 cbm chemical tankers – the world’s largest stainless steel
chemical tankers

New efficient technology

2014: Odfjell 100 year 

Energy efficient ships

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