Our history

Century-long legacy within the shipping industry

A trusted shipping partner since 1884

Lauritzen Bulkers has decades of experience in the handysize dry bulk ocean transport market and more than a century-long legacy within the shipping industry. More than 100 years after Ditlev Lauritzen founded the company, the Lauritzen Group continues to showcase our capacity to adapt and transform into a modern shipping company, while also remaining true to our company’s heritage and core values.


Lauritzen Bulkers offers a unique combination of generations of craftmanship and a modern outlook towards the future of the shipping industry. In recent years, Lauritzen Bulkers has transformed from a traditional ship owner to an agile and innovative operator and trader, focused on embracing digital solutions and offering intelligent shipping solutions to our clients.

Strategic business transition forms the new Lauritzen Bulkers


Data driven trading platform

Lauritzen Bulkers completed its strategic transition journey to establish a data driven trading platform combined with asset management.


Lauritzen Bulkers was established as an independent company.


Hong Kong office opening

Opening of commerical office in Hong Kong.


Dubai office opening

Opening of commercial office in Dubai to support the growing dry cargo activities in Middle East.


135 years of ocean transport

In April 2019 J. Lauritzen celebrated 135 years of ocean transport.


“Bulk ship operator of the year”

Lauritzen Bulkers received the “Bulk ship operator of the year” award at the International Bulk Journal’s "IBJ Awards 2011".


Lab on board presented at COP 15

A collaboration with ‘Lab on board’ took place (on two ships) for fuel and exhaust gas testing purposes. The system was presented at COP 15.


Newbuilding programme

Newbuilding programme initiated, primarily in the handysize segment.


Singapore office opening

Opening of commercial office in Singapore to support the growing dry cargo activities in Asia.

Lauritzen Bulkers becomes the brand name and growth continues


Melbourne office opening

Opening of commercial office in Melbourne, Australia (re-located to Singapore in 2005).


Handysize bulk carriers equipped with grabs

Handysize bulk carriers equipped with grabs for self-loading and/or discharging increasingly became the preferred vessel type at Lauritzen Bulkers.


25 bulk carriers in the fleet

Lauritzen Bulkers controlled about 25 bulk carriers, some of which were owned by the company and the remaining were operated via time-charter.


Rebranding to: Lauritzen Bulkers

Lauritzen Bulkers became the brand name for J. Lauritzen's bulk carrier activities.


Tokyo office opening

Branch office opened in Tokyo opened, strengthening business relationships with trading houses, tonnage providers and shipyards.


New York office opening

Opening of commercial office in New York facilitated closer contact with large chartering firms and cargo shippers.

Expansion of the dry cargo activities


Active bulk carrier operator

J. Lauritzen became an active bulk carrier operator through time-charter of three 15,000 dwt bulk carriers.


First bulk carrier newbuilding

The first bulk carrier newbuilding was contracted at Verolme Cork Dockyard, Ltd., Ireland for delivery in 1976. The 69,600 dwt bulk carrier was the biggest dry cargo ship in the Danish merchant fleet at the time. 


Silja Dan

J. Lauritzen enters the dedicated bulk carrier industry with the purchase of a 15,574 dwt bulk carrier, named ’Silja Dan’.


Helga Dan forces way through St. Lawrence River

‘Helga Dan’ became the first shipping vessel in history to force its way through the ice masses in the St. Lawrence River up to Quebec during the winter. Cargo shipping activities in Canada grew rapidly during the following years. J. Lauritzen opened an office in Montreal in 1977 to support expansion in the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.


The red hull

In order to make ships more visible in icy waters, the hull of Kista Dan was painted red in 1955 and shortly after the remaining fleet followed and were painted in the red color that today still symbolizes all Lauritzen vessels.


Delivery of 18 ice-strengthened vessels

18 ice-strengthened new vessels were delivered to serve the dry cargo operations in Finland, Canada and Greenland

Foundation of J. Lauritzen and the dry cargo activities


Foundation of Lauritzen Fonden

Lauritzen Fonden was established by brothers, Ivar and Knud Lauritzen and their sister Anna Lønberg-Holm in 1945. The establishment of Lauritzen Fonden marked the 50th anniversary of the “Dampskibsselskabet Vesterhavet”, the shipping company founded by their father Ditlev Lauritzen. 


Engaged in sea transport of woodpulp and coal

In the early 1920’s J. Lauritzen became engaged in sea transport of wood-pulp from Finland to ports in the United Kingdom and the Continent often with coal as backhaul cargo.


Copenhagen office opening

By 1914 the fleet had grown to 26 vessels and Ditlev Lauritzen moves the company and his family to Copenhagen.


A merchant widespread business

By 1893 J. Lauritzen had already grown into a widespread merchant business



J. Lauritzen was founded in 1884 by Ditlev Lauritzen. At the age of 24 he started the company in his father’s name in Esbjerg, Denmark.

Proudly owned by Lauritzen Fonden

Lauritzen Bulkers is wholly owned by Lauritzen Fonden; a commercial foundation with the objective of supporting shipping, culture, social humanitarian work and education.

Creating growth for local communities around the world

Lauritzen Bulkers is dedicated to providing progressively intelligent seaborne solutions around the world. Through ongoing improvements in technology and increased efficiencies within our own operations, we will continue to positively contribute to the green transition of the global trade market and therewith also support important growth and development of local communities around the world.

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