Belships has been around since 1918 and with its 100 years in business, it has become a familiar name in the Norwegian shipping sector. The company was publicly listed in 1937.

Lars Christian Skarsgard, Belships’ CEO, attributes its entrepreneurial background and long history to the success of the company today.

“Belships has been owning and chartering vessels from Japan since 40 years ago and experienced the evolution in design and efficiency.”

In 2018, the Norwegian dry bulk owner finalized its merger with Lighthouse Group, which enabled the company to grow into a fully integrated shipping company with both commercial and technical management in-house. It has since extended an exceptional period of growth for the company, doubling the fleet and achieving more than five times its original value and market capitalization.

Currently, Belships has a fleet comprising 24 modern vessels. Skarsgard said they will continue the pivot toward eco-friendly operations, something the Japanese shipbuilding market has been focusing on since the 1980s.

“Belships has made quite a shift toward larger and more economical ships, the majority of them being built in Japan. This is important in order to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

In the future, Belships hopes to further strengthen its relationship with Japan.

“Japan plays an important role in our business. We are taking delivery of five Japanese-built ships in 2020,” said Skarsgard.

“Japanese shipbuilding and financing is an integral part of our company now more than ever,” he concluded.