Gerhard Janssen, General Manager Marketing & Sales for global shipping group, Rickmers-Linie, talks to PES about his company’s proud heritage and its turbine carriage solutions.
PES: Welcome to PES. Firstly, can you tell us a little about the history of your company?
Gerhard Janssen: Rickmers-Linie’s roots date back to the year 1834, when Rickmer C. Rickmers founded a shipyard in Bremerhaven, which soon gained reputation. The yard also started to become engaged in shipowning and as a result the Rickmers Shipping Company was established in 1859. Today’s Rickmers-Linie is a direct successor of that company. After being part of the Hapag-Lloyd concern for 12 years from 1988 until 2000, the company returned into family ownership. Today, Rickmers-Linie is part of the Rickmers Group, one of Germany’s largest shipping groups. With the delivery of nine so called “Superflex Heavy Multipurpose Carriers (MPC)” from Chinese yards between 2002 and 2004, the company has started a massive investment programme.
The current newbuilding programme consists of a total of 14 vessels, which will be delivered during 2010 and 2011 and will mainly replace older tonnage employed in other services such as Europe – Middle East – India.
PES: How did the company become involved in the carriage of wind turbines? And how important is this facet of your business to your total operation?
GJ: Wind turbine components are often shipped in smaller lots, for example, from Europe to Asia or from Asia to America. Since 2008, we have been operating two ships in the Pacific – the MARIE RICKMERS and the SOPHIE RICKMERS, which are dedicated to carrying wind turbine components for one of our customers on a regular basis (see photo of the SOPHIE RICKMERS in the Panama Canal) from Asia to the United States.