Ship to shore

Misje Rederi is a company with a long history, reaching back to 1956 when it was established by former captain Kåre Misje after degraded eyesight meant he was no longer able to sail. Partnering with shipbroker L Andrew Winciansen, Kåre Misje set up his own fleet of cargo vessels to transport fertilizer, fish and other dry goods along the Norwegian coast. Despite entering a number of other sectors over the years – including standby vessels in the North Sea, a market that faded in the early 1990s, and meteorological survey vessels the last of which was decommissioned in 2009 – dry bulk cargo has remained the company’s core business to this day.

Part owner and managing director Nils Magne Fjereide discusses Misje Rederi’s modern operations in further depth: “Our main customers are the Norwegian industry firms located along the Norwegian coastline. We deliver raw materials to factories and transport finished products throughout Europe, with our main cargo being fertiliser, grains and steel products. There is a lot of industry located along the coast, particularly in north Norway where they make use of hydro energy from waterfalls, so we have a constant business.”

The company’s fleet of ships numbers 11 cargo vessels, all of which are approximately 89 metres in length and have a carrying capacity of around 5200 square metres, specialising in short sea shipping. Nils explains the advantages of having such a fleet: “Because they are all quite similar, we can operate the ships interchangeably and circulate them between different cargo owners without worrying too much about the logistics.”

The eleventh vessel, MS Fortuna, was added to the fleet in September of last year and represents new capabilities for the company because it is a self-discharger. Self-discharger vessels are ships that do not require dockside equipment to offload cargo, instead they are installed with machinery to do the job. The MSFortuna is a 3750-deadweight tonne vessel that began life as a standard cargo ship but was converted n 2008, just before Misje Rederi acquired it.

The addition of MS Fortuna is important for a company such as Misje Rederi that is involved in short sea shipping, an industry that is increasingly coming under the spotlight as an important means of cargo transportation. Because it is one of the least environmentally polluting means of moving cargo within a country, and because it already accounts for over a third of all freight within Europe, short sea shipping is being heavily promoted by EU policies.

There are increasing opportunities, then, for Misje Rederi in the coming years to capitalise on this industry. It already has a long-established history and reputation for reliable, quality work; when combined with its investment into both vessel maintenance as well as fleet expansion, the company is well placed to become a leading figure in the Norwegian – and maybe the European – short sea shipping market.

Nils explains how Misje Rederi is already investigating new technologies with a view towards the future of the industry: “We are co-operating with ship designers who have developed a new model that we are very interested in. They use much less energy than our current ships whilst also having a greater carrying capacity, which obviously interests us. We are working with shipyards and some of the leading ship designers in the world today to bring this new dry cargo vessel concept to the short sea sector.”

By developing its fleet in this way, with new and more efficient cargo vessels, the company looks forward to establishing itself further within Europe. Nils sees the most attractive way of doing this as being through contracts of affreightment (COA) in which Misje Rederi allows a charter company to make use of its vessels for a contracted amount of time. Whilst the company already does this to some extent not only in Norway but also with companies in Russia and the Baltics as well, there is plenty of scope for making further connections throughout the whole of Europe.

“We want to create a leading and profitable short sea company based in Norway that can also be a player on the Europe-wide market,” says Nils. “We want to buy or build new ships to take part in the renewal of Europe’s short sea market, particularly in the dry cargo part, and we will go out and present our company to cargo owners to achieve more COAs. The more cargo we are able to handle, the bigger our fleet can grow.”

Looking forward, he concludes with confidence on the future of Misje Rederi: “We want to be a company that all cargo owners want to use and to gain a notable market share of the dry bulk short sea sector. With the market becoming an increasingly political issue, we want to take part in its development to become a leading player and profitable shipping company throughout Norway and the EU.”

Fleet of 11 similar vessels

55 year history

Looking to expand further through Europe