Danish shipping’s loyal Chilean connection

Why is it that the probably largest foreign shipowner in Denmark is Chilean? Why would you let your 100 dry bulk vessels operate out of Copenhagen? And why do you choose to place your gas tanker fleet in the same location?

The story of the Chilean von Appen family’s persistant presence in Danish shipping consists of equal shares of history and a belief in the Danish maritime society. Historically, the von Appen interest in the Danish shipping environment was evoked in the 1960s when Sven von Appen reached Denmark as part of his roundtrip paid for by his father Captain Albert von Appen. In the beginning of the 1950s, Albert von Appen had established the Ultramar Group in Chile, a ship agent and freight forwarder, who entered shipowning with the world’s smallest special-built gas tanker in 1960. The founder believed that his son must take a Scandinavian roundtrip in order to gain shipping knowledge. Therefore, it was natural for Sven von Appen to be inspired by Denmark when the gas tanker fleet was to be expanded during the 1970s which it was through e.g. the purchase of a number of second-hand vessels from the KOSAN-gas owned by the well-known Tholstrup family.

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