Having already quadrupled the share of its project cargo business over the past five years, Grieg Star is looking to further its presence in the project sector as it combines forces with Gearbulk in a joint venture dubbed G2 Ocean.
Grieg Star, which operates 31 vessels capable of carrying project cargo, now sees 20 percent of its overall volume coming from projects, up from 5 percent just half a decade ago, according to Randy Hillsman, manager of project cargo based in the Atlanta branch office of Grieg Star.
With the G2 Ocean joint venture taking shape toward becoming fully operational by mid-2017, the level of project activity is likely to continue its ascendance.
“Over the years, Grieg Star and our customers have found that our ships are perfect for various types of project cargo,” said Rune Birkeland, currently chief executive officer of Grieg Logistics, who is to assume the CEO role at Grieg Star effective Feb. 1 and become G2 Ocean’s CEO upon the joint venture coming to be. “We have had great success within that segment, and project cargo shipping is now a considerable part of our services.
“We still await clearance from various antitrust authorities when it comes to our joint venture with Gearbulk,” Birkeland continued. “Still, for me, it is obvious that we continue the project cargo business within G2 Ocean, and our customers can expect G2 Ocean to continue to offer shipping of project cargo from Day One.
“After antitrust clearances have been obtained and we are ready to establish G2 Ocean, we can say more about these things,” he added in comments to the American Journal of Transportation.
The joint venture, plans for which were initially disclosed in October, is to be a new “highly versatile” independent shipping company, headquartered in Bergen, Norway, combining global resources and expertise of Norway-based Grieg Star, which traces its roots back to 1884, with those of Gearbulk, which was founded in Norway in 1968.
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