Scores of dry bulk operators opening offices in Copenhagen

The number of dry bulk shipping companies in Denmark has increased significantly in the past three years, and numerous new offices have been established in the country's capital region. ShippingWatch provides an overview of the new players.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Brian Bergmann

In recent years, the number of dry bulk shipping companies in Denmark has increased significantly.

Today at least 29 dry bulk companies have offices in Denmark, according to a list ShippingWatch has put together on the basis of input from association Danish Shipping, among others.

In particular the country's capital region, Copenhagen along with provinces Hellerup and Rungsted, has seen new companies flood in, and this is also where the latest name on the dry bulk roster, US-based Genco Shipping's Danish office, will be located.

"What has happened is similar to what happens in other sectors, namely that when a critical mass of skilled companies has emerged, more will follow. In the dry bulk segment we're seeing foreign companies entering, just as we're seeing several Danish players expanding, or new companies being established on the basis of the strong environment they've grown up in," Director Jacob K. Clasen of Danish Shipping tells ShippingWatch.

Carsten Munk Jensen, managing director and partner at shipbroker Simpson Spence Young Bidsted, has also observed this trend.

"Copenhagen is a fairly attractive place in which to open an office. Compared to many other places, for instance Geneva and London, Copenhagen is not especially expensive, and there's qualified labor here. And Denmark is a good place from which to run a business," he tells ShippingWatch.

The shipbroker in and of itself represents the growing focus on Copenhagen in the dry bulk sector, as Danish broker Bidsted was last year acquired by international shipbroker Simpson Spence Young.

This trend has been especially clear in the past three years, and in 2015, 2016 and 2017 alone, a total of eight new companies have launched operations in the Danish dry bulk cluster while Genco will establish an office in 2018.


The recently opened offices generally represent expansions of existing businesses, Jensen tells ShippingWatch. This happens as part of efforts to be present in the city, which in addition to serving as a hub for product tanker also plays a similar role for dry bulk segments such as handysize and ultramax.

"This means that there's more activity in the various sectors. This is a sign that there's growth in the market, and people want to be where it's happening, and Copenhagen is one of these places."

Shipping companies such as German behemoth Oldendorff as well as Fortuna Seaside Bulk Carriers are proof of this. They have in the last couple of years opened offices in what is described as the "Hellerup cluster" where many Danish shipping companies, such as Norden, Torm and Hafnia Tankers, are based. As such, the total number of dry bulk companies in Hellerup now stands at 15.

When Oldendorff announced the Copenhagen office, the company also highlighted opportunities of attracting the right people.

"Oldendorff will relocate a number of people to Copenhagen but will also be looking to draw on the dry bulk shipping pool of talent in Scandinavia for further expansion," wrote the company.

Talents and the possibility of developing said talent are key factors in terms of ensuring that new offices open in the future, for Denmark to continue to be able to attract new players.

Right now there seems to be enough people available to staff the new companies, but it is uncertain how long this will last.

"We can't take the talent pool for granted. It's important to ensure a large influx of people to the sector, and also to this part of the shipping sector, which is largely the on-land part of shipping with dry bulk operators. We're trying to ensure a food chain for this part of shipping, for instance through the commercial shipping program we've helped create, while there are also many skilled people being trained at CBS' programs," says Clasen.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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