BY LOUISE VOGDRUP-SCHMIDT Published 28.08.18 at 10:05
Three former key executives from NPC Projects have established a new project cargo operator. An office in Bangkok is up and running, and the company will soon open an office in Denmark, one of the partners tells ShippingWatch.
New project cargo operator WeShip Projects opened an office in Bangkok on May 1 this year, and on Nov. 1 the company will open an office in Denmark.
The new company was founded by three former executives from NPC Projects, formerly Nordana, all of which are partners in WeShip Projects.
Torben Reinhard, Søren Larsen and Lars Steen Rasmussen have spent decades working together in various combinations, and that have now formed their own company to do business in the project cargo market.
"Our goal is to create a smaller operator that can serve as broker as well as operator. We don't have a target for revenue yet, and it's difficult to say right now how big we'll get. But we're cutting our coat according to our cloth, and we'd like to expand WeShip Projects at a nice and easy pace. We expect to deliver a small profit in 2019," Lars Steen Rasmussen tells ShippingWatch.
• Founded by the three partners Lars Steen Rasmussen, Torben Reinhard and Søren Larsen.
• Aims to be a small operator and broker in the project cargo market.
• The first and biggest job for WeShip Projects will be to establish a bigger foothold for shipping company Ocean7 in Asia.
• Has opened an office in Bangkok and will open an office in Denmark later this year.
• The three partners have worked together for many years, including at Nordana.
The jumping-off point for WeShip Projects is an agreement the company has made with project cargo shipping company Ocean7. WeShip Projects will serve as primary operator for Ocean7 in Asia, where Ocean7 is looking to grow its business. As such, this is where WeShip Projects eyes its business at first.
Looking to hire
In addition to the three partners, of which Reinhard and Larsen will be working in Bangkok, and Rasmussen will be in Denmark, WeShip Projects has hired six people in Bangkok and one in Copenhagen.
"We'll be hiring more people, and we need to be at least a couple more in Denmark, and on the longer term we'll also establish a presence in the US, but we'll start with a smaller setup. We're not going to go out and over-expose ourselves," explains Rasmussen, who will be leading the Copenhagen office from Nov. 1.
The market for multipurpose shipping has seen better days, to say the least, and competition has only intensified in recent years, while a large-scale consolidation has taken place and has made the big players even bigger. One example concerns the three partners' former employer, NPC Projects, previously Nordana, which was acquired by Rickmers Holding in February 2017.
Rickmers Holding later found itself in dire financial difficulties at the hands of newly established Zeaborn, which has since then grown through more acquisitions and a merger with US-based Intermarine. The company now operates under the name Zeamarine.
Rasmussen stresses that WeShip Projects is a smaller player on the large stage between companies such as BBC Chartering, Thorco, Spliethoff, Zeamarine, SAL Heavy Lift and AAL.
"In this sense, we're not going out there to compete with anybody, we're a smaller player. We want to work with what we've always done, to do a solid piece of work, and to offer an alternative. We're not betting big in terms of investments, we're going in to try and get some jobs in a field we've worked with for many, many years combined," says Rasmussen.
The idea for WeShip Projects has been underway for months, but the upstart has taken some time, due to, among other factors, Rasmussen's non-compete clause with NPC Projects not being lifted until July 1, which means that the Danish corporate registration was not settled until August this year.
English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch
New project cargo operator WeShip Projects opened its office in Bangkok on May 1 this year.
Wednesday 29 August 2018
WeShip Projects, a specialist in the ocean transportation of project, breakbulk, and heavy lift cargoes, plans to open an office in Denmark later this year.
During May 2018 HLPFI reported that WeShip Projects and Ocean7 Projects established an office in Bangkok, Thailand. Three former executives of NPC Projects founded the company – Torben Reinhard, Søren Larsen and Lars Steen Rasmussen. The joint venture provides chartering and commercial management for vessels operating in the heavy lift, breakbulk and project cargo shipping sector.
Rasmussen, who is based in Copenhagen, will lead the Danish office, which is scheduled to open in November.
In addition to operating as brokers and consultants, WeShip Projects acts as exclusive agents for Ocean7 Projects in Asia. In the longer term, WeShip Projects also plans to establish a presence in the USA.
WeShip the name kind of tells us what you do, but can you further enlighten our readers in detail on what kind of services you provide?
Yes I agree that the name is intended to tell our clients about our business. Our name is inspired simply by what we love to do, so no secrets. We certainly do ship, break bulk, heavy lift and project cargoes worldwide. We also operate multipurpose and heavy lift vessels.
We are very industry experienced, providing creative and innovative services and solutions to the ocean transportation of project, break-bulk, and heavy-lift cargoes.
WeShip Projects operates independently as brokers, vessel operators and consultants while also operating as agents, acting specifically in the Asian region as exclusive general agents for Ocean7 Projects.
Although we are a new venture, our team is anything but new to this industry – we have extensive industry experience. We understand the complexities involved when it comes to moving oversized, heavy and high value equipment. We thrive on challenges and we’re great at coming up with creative solutions, of course always putting the utmost priority on safety.
On the cargo side, at WeShip Projects in Asia, the region that at this moment is the majority of our company’s area of business, we are prioritizing, under our General Agency Agreement, in selling Ocean 7 tonnage/services including and along with our Thai flag service. In addition to this we will be doing brokerage and ‘relet’ of cargoes and TC in tonnage. In addition to this, we can also offer owners agency service in Thailand as well as vessel technical management.
There is a lot of competition out there and everyone seems to be looking to carry project cargoes. What makes you stand out in today’s market?
We cannot avoid being different in the market, being a smaller player, but it’s okay! However, to answer your question we stand out because we like to think of ourselves as a more visible and intimate company, always being close to our clients.
We follow our ideals and what we always have believed in, which means we always deliver a solid piece of work, we always prioritize straightforward dialogs, we value transparency in all we do, we always try to present the alternative if there is one and we understand the complexities involved when it comes to moving oversized, heavy, and high value equipment. We thrive on challenges, and we’re great at coming up with creative solutions, but like I said, we always place the utmost priority on safety. That, along with our extensive industry experience and our full dedication to the ‘job’, which is the ocean transportation of project, break-bulk, and heavy-lift cargoes, makes us stand out. That is something we do not find difficult, as project cargoes are our game and indeed, as I mentioned before, also our passion.
Those ideals have, through many years, created our business and provided the very good customer relations we have held throughout the years so if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!
Who are the owners of the company?
WeShip Projects is a Danish founded Ltd. company owned by the three partners: Søren Larsen, Torben Reinhard and Lars Steen Rasmussen.
You are well known in project cargo shipping. Could you elaborate a bit on your career and tell our readers a bit about your involvement in more than four decades of shipping?
My background is deeply rooted in the shipping company Nordana, previously owned by Denmark’s first ever ship-owing company, Dannebrog Rederi. My partners in WeShip Projects also spent decades navigating through the shipping industry, of which many years also were spent as part of the management team in Nordana Project & Chartering.
I was born in Aarhus, Jutland, Denmark and commenced my career with a small shipbroker company by the name of Johannes Petersen A/S. After some years working as a shipbroker in the United Kingdom and Germany, I continued my career in Aarhus until I moved to Copenhagen in 1986 and worked for Nordana in both Denmark and the United States. I have worked almost my entire career in the dry cargo segments on both the shipowing and the operator side, within ro/ro liner services as well as multipurpose heavy lift, project cargoes services. I worked for Nordana for almost thirty years, of which I spent the latter twenty years acting as the C.E.O. of the company. In recent history, Nordana also became a part of the Rickmers / Zeaborn Group, with whom I worked for the last two years prior to founding WeShip Projects A/S this year.
Where are your offices located and can you provide us with contact details?
Yes, our contact information is as follows:
Lars S. Rasmussen
WeShip Projects AS
+66 89 893 3527
+66 89 893 3529
WeShip Projects Co., Ltd
582/7 Soi Ekamai, Sukhumvit 63,
Khlong Tan North Wattana