Maritime Bergen is looking to make Bergen, Norway the industrial shipping capital of the world
Into the lImelIght Bergen vies be to recognized as maritime capital
36 MARINE LOG September 2013
gross tonnage controlled by Bergen-based owners makes it the leading Norwegian shipping center. Bergen boasts around 500 vessels sailing under the Norwegian flag, compared to around 200 each in Ålesund and Oslo. It also controls a further 500 registered in foreign territories—all of which are above 100 gross tons.” But she added that it was not just the sheer numbers that made the Bergen maritime cluster unique. “It is not just quantity but quality, with many world-class companies leading the market it their segments. We also have variety—everything you need to build and operate vessels of different size and types can be found in this region,” she said. To prove that its claims were not just the result of parochial bias, Maritime Bergen commissioned economic research outfit Menon to do a study on the maritime sector in the wider Bergen region.
Having always believed that the Bergen region had “The strongest, most complete and most dynamic maritime cluster in Norway,” Hans Olav Lindal, Chairman Bergen Shipowners Association, said the report vindicated his position. “The report showed that the Bergen cluster is not driven by short-term speculation in shipping investment. Rather, that the companies that emerge from this region tend to focus on long-term value creation, based on customer focus, innovation, knowledge and quality of organization, technical management and operation of vessels,” he said. Lindal is also Chairman of Viken Shipping AS, a privately owned company based in Bergen. Viken Shipping’s fleet includes Suezmax crude oil tankers, Aframax ice class tankers, LR2 product tankers, ice class lakers, LPG carriers and DP2 shuttle tankers. Lindal is also Vice Chairman of the board for another Bergen-based shipping
Bergen Tourist Board / Willy Haraldsen
nyone who has been to Norway knows about the competitive spirit that exists between the country’s two largest cities— not least when it comes to shipping clout. Last year, Oslo took bragging rights when it was ranked second to Singapore in Menon’s 2012 report on global maritime capitals. But Bergen is now staking its claim as the country’s real maritime hub. Maritime Bergen, an initiative funded by several local shipping companies is aiming to bring Bergen out from under the radar, by launching a campaign which brands Bergen as “The Industrial Shipping Capital.” The campaign was launched at the Oslo shipping cluster’s pride and joy, NorShipping, which brought 35,000 people from around the world to Oslo in June. Managing Director of Maritime Bergen, Susanne Rislå Andersen, said that Bergen had the numbers to back up such a claim. “The number of vessels as well as the
By Damien Devlin