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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 Berent 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
Delivery of the world’s first stainless tanker, MT Lind,
built at the Stord yard in Norway.

Steam and Steel

SS Vaarli officers

First Tanker SS Vaarli

1963 Dan Odfjell establishes Minde Chartering, Odfjell’s own marketing organization
1969 The first Odfjell tank terminal opens: 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 Baytank in Houston, later named Odfjell Terminals Houston (OTH)
1986 Storli – original company name – 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
Delivery of first of 16 new state-of-the-art stainless chemical
tankers; the Kværner series

Establishment of Odfjell Terminals Dalian (OTD)

1998 Company name is changed from Storli to Odfjell

The second Poland class is delivered; four small stainless chemical tankers

1999 - Venture into the iso-container business
- Odfjell buys 50% of Flumar

Kvaerner Series

Filipino Crew onboard

Odfjell Baytank Houston

A merge of Odfjell Tankers and Seachem makes the company the premier
deep-sea chemical tanker operator in terms of overall carrying capacity.
Through the decade, Odfjell becomes a partner in several terminals,
in the Netherlands, Singapore, Iran, China and Oman. As part of a
restructuring process, Odfjell exited from these terminals and OTD between
2016 and 2020.
The Botlek terminal in Rotterdam is acquired and renamed Odfjell Terminals
2001 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals
2002 Odfjell becomes a partner in Odfjell Terminals Korea, located in Ulsan
2003 – 2007 The third Poland class is delivered; eight stainless chemical tankers
2003 Odfjell Academy training center established in Subic, Zambales, Philippines
Fleet Asia is established, including ship management of selected
vessels in Singapore
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

- Odfjell Philippines, Inc. is established
- Odfjell becomes 100% owners of Flumar

2009 Odfjell commits to the Carbon Disclosure Project

New Poland Class

Odfjell Academy Philippines

Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam


- Construction of a new terminal in Charleston, USA, starts
- Odfjell imports Flumar Brasil to Brazil and starts the restructuring of the Flumar fleet

2011 Lindsay Goldberg (LG) becomes joint venture partner for the terminals business
2011 Signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC)
Construction of Odfjell Nangang Terminals (Tianjin) in China, and Odfjell Terminals
becomes a partner in Noord Natie Terminals in Antwerp, Belgium
2012 Re-entry into the gas segment: Odfjell Gas Carriers is established (exit in 2021)
2013 Delivery of the world’s largest chemical tanker, Bow Pioneer
2013 Odfjell Terminals becomes a partner in Quanzhou (Fujian), China
2013 Odfjell becomes a member of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN)
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

A new company strategy is launched, the Odfjell Compass.
Initiation of the biggest fleet renewal program in the company’s history.
2017 Pool agreements are entered with Chemical Transportation Group (Chempool25)
and Sinochem (Chempool40)
2017 Odfjell sells indirect ownership share in Exir Chemical Terminal and its 50%
ownership share in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminal Singapore Pte Ltd
Ship Management services is consolidated in Bergen, and Odfjell partners with
Thome Ship Management in Singapore for the management of its regional
Asia fleet
2018 Odfjell sells its ownership share in the Rotterdam terminal
2018 Odfjell appoints its first Chief Operations Officer
Odfjell SE takes a stronger role in Terminals
by establishing Odfjell Terminals as a 100% controlled holding company
LG exits and Northleaf Capital Partner becomes new joint venture partner
for Odfjell Terminals US
Delivery of the world’s four largest stainless steel chemical tankers,
the Hudong class
2019 Odfjell SE sells its ownership share of terminal in Jiangyin, China
Odfjell signs the UNGC Sustainable Ocean Principles and
becomes a member of the Getting to Zero Coalition
2020 Odfjell sets ambitious climate targets and appoints first Chief Sustainability Officer
2020 Odfjell Terminals increases ownership of Korea terminal to 50%
2021 Successful placement of shipping’s first Sustainability-Linked Bond
2021 Odfjell SE exits the gas carrier segment
2021 marked an important shift in Odfjell’s strategy when it decided to
focus exclusively on deep-sea shipping by exiting the short-sea trade in Asia
2022 Odfjell Terminals exits China with the sale of share in Odfjell Terminals Jiangjin

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