Breakbulk cargo today


The shipping company Enzian Shipping Ltd., Bern was founded by the Swiss businessman and investor Mr. Hansjürg Grunder in 1998 and is engaged in the dry cargo business.

In 1999 the first four mini bulkers of 5,000 mt dwt each were taken over in cooperation with the Carisbrooke Shipping Group, United Kingdom. In the following two years the fleet was enlarged by 2 larger multi purpose carriers of 9,000 mt dwt. In the meantime the 4 smaller units were sold, but the 9000 tonners are still in service and are employed in worldwide tramp shipping, but operate mainly in the Atlantic.

At the beginning the ships were technically and commercially managed by Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd., Cowes, England, U.K. (on the Isle of Weight, near Southampton), however in 2002 a subsidiary office Enzian Shipping Ltd. in Schlieren near Zürich was opened and the management and operation of the vessels was allocated to this office. Two long standing superintendents of the former Metrofin Ltd. took over the management of the company, Capt. Peter Woodtli as general manager and Mr. Ernst Inauen, a former chief engineer, as technical manager.

In the year 2003 the Enzian Shipping Ltd. was incorporated in the newly formed holding SCL Reederei AG (Swiss Cargo Line).

In 2004 another 4 new MPP-freighters (12,700 mt dwt) were ordered and constructed under own building supervision in a shipyard in Shimonoseki, Japan. The vessels were delivered in 2005. These ships are operating in world wide tramping, but sometimes are also given into time charter, sailing mainly in the Atlantic. In December 2007 the SCL THUN was sold.

In April 2006 the Enzian Shipping Ltd. changed name to Enzian Ship Management Ltd., see also www.enzian-shipping.com

A further new building programm for another 4 freighters (12,000 mt dwt) was initiated in 2007 with a shipyard in Tianjin, China and completed in 2008. These vessels are all employed in time charter with Safmarine, the former state owned shipping company of South Africa, today belonging to the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group of Copenhagen. The vessels are engaged in liner service from Europe to West Africa.

In 2008 and 2009 another four, but smaller cargo ships (7,600 mt dwt) were constructed in Tianjin, of which the first vessel, the SCL MARIE-JEANNE is now sold. These ships operate in the Peter Döhle Pool of Hamburg and the trading area is Europe. Therefore commercial operation is planned and carried out in Hamburg.

In April 2011 the office was moved from Schlieren to Zürich and new, spacious offices were taken at the Bremgartnerstrasse 7.

Presently two large freighters (18,000 mt dwt) are being built in China, of which the first unit, the SAFMARINE SUMBA was delivered recently. The two ships were sold to Safmarine during construction, but will be technically managed by Enzian Ship Management AG. The ships will be sailing in Safmarines MPV-service between the Far East and West Africa.

At the time of writing in Juli 2011 the fleet consists of 13 units, of which 9 ships fly the Swiss flag, 3 the Liberian flag and the SAFMARINE SUMBA the flag of Hong Kong. The crews are from Eastern Europe, mainly from the new EU-states of Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as from Sri Lanka.

It must be mentioned, that Enzian Ship Management has endeavoured to recruit young Swiss for a shipping career and to train and employ them on board their vessels. Unfortunately these efforts showed only little success, there are mainly three reasons, first, it is for a young Swiss very hard to integrate into a foreign speaking crew, secondly, the expectations of the young people are set too high and thirdly is hard work (irregular, long working hours) in combination with the monotony on board (shore leave mostly impossible) not very popular. In total about 20 cadets went on board and about half a dozen made it into the nautical college.

The complete management of the vessels, which includes chartering and operation of the ships, technical management, crewing and accounting is carried out by Enzian Ship Management AG in Zürich. Presently 16 persons, the great majority Swiss nationals are employed in the office in Zürich.

HPS-SwissShips, July 2011