Wallem's long history and rich heritage is a distinguishing hallmark of the company. Since our establishment in 1903 in Shanghai by Haakon Wallem, the company has grown in reputation and expertise to deliver ship management, ship...

Wallem's Highlights

  • 1903Wallem & Co. established in Shanghai, China and engaged in ship broking and chartering.
  • 1905Haakon Wallem acquires his first ship, the SS Oscar II - a 4,750 dwt sail-assisted steamer built in 1893.
  • 1908Wallem appointed to manage two sister ships for Ping An Steamship, the SS Chingtufu and SS Tsinanfu, both employed in the coal trade on the Chinese coast.
  • 1912Took over management of the SS Erviken, named after the Wallem family home in Bergen, Norway, and later sadly torpedoed in 1917 during the First World War.
  • 1917New vessel built for worldwide tramping - the SS Storviken of 4,703 grt.
  • 1921Second new vessel built and named the SS Erviken; this 5,019 grt vessel also trading worldwide but mainly in the Trans-Pacific.
  • 1925Hong Kong office opened (the earlier representative office closed in 1910 after three difficult years).
  • 1926Three modern China coasters built in the UK with a Hong Kong government license for 21 cabin and 1,100 deck passengers. The SS Norviken, SS Daviken and SS Sandviken, manned by Chinese crew with Norwegian officers, were long-term chartered to Jardine Matheson and considered the best of their kind in Asia.
  • 1930Shanghai office became the main broker to aspiring Chinese ship owners by helping them acquire second-hand vessels from UK/Norwegian owners.
  • 1935Wallem moved into offices in the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank's new building in Hong Kong.
  • 1937SS Norviken and SS Daviken took 1st and 2nd place respectively in the Efficiency Shield for vessels owned or chartered by Jardines.
  • 1938The Wallem fleet had grown to 15 ships totalling 47,101 dwt.
  • 1938Wallem pioneered the use of the Panamanian Registry in the Far East for older ships. This involved setting up a registered office in Panama City and became very popular with Chinese owners, who then utilised Wallem for a range of chartering and maritime services.
  • 1941Managing Director Reidar Johannessen and family escaped from Hong Kong through China “over the Hump” to Bombay (now Mumbai), from where the Wallem fleet was managed during the period of the Pacific War.
  • 194421 Wallem controlled or managed vessels were lost during the Second World War.
  • 1945Wallem & Co. (India) established during the war years to manage the Wallem fleet away from occupied Hong Kong.
  • 1946Wallem Lambert Brothers Ltd established in London to manage the insurance and trading business.
  • 1947Activities extended into aviation with the agency acquired for Braathen SAFE Airways that connected Hong Kong with Europe via 4 weekly DC4 (and later DC6) flights per week. This was a pioneering moment for air travel between Europe and Asia.
  • 1949From 1949 until the mid-1950s Wallem was the sole broker for Sinofracht - the official ship chartering company for the government of the People's Republic of China.
  • 1949The Hong Kong company is re-registered as Wallem & Company Limited, coinciding with the start of the Hong Kong ship-owning expansion precipitated by the infusion of shipping talent from Shanghai.
  • 1951Wallem & Co. opened in Kobe to serve Japanese ship owners.
  • 1951Karachi office opened.
  • 1951Haakon J Wallem, founder of the Wallem Group, died at Erviken in Norway. Known on the China coast as "Typhoon Wallem", he was a legend in his times.
  • 1951Shanghai office closed after Communist rule made business too difficult to continue.
  • 1952Several Chinese beneficial owners appointed Wallem to act as registered owners of their ships until the mid-1960s.
  • 1954Reidar Johannessen retires after 33 years with Wallem, having built a hugely successful business.
  • 1958Singapore office opened.
  • 1961Anthony Hardy joins Wallem, later becoming Group MD and then Chairman in 1972. Now retired after 45 years with Wallem and the main force behind the new Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
  • 1962Wallem became the largest tanker broker for the carriage of water into Hong Kong during the water shortage crisis which lasted 3 years.
  • 1963Established a dedicated Ship Agency department in Hong Kong.
  • 1965Philippines office opened.
  • 1965Nordahl Wallem increases shareholding in Wallem & Co. Ltd to 60%, with Lambert Brothers Ltd acquiring 25% and the balance held by Anthony Hardy as the new Managing Director.
  • 1966Wallem becomes the first non-Chinese ship owner to be admitted to the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association (HKSOA).
  • 1966GSA (General Sales Agency) acquired in Hong Kong for British Eagle airlines, and later for Laker Airways.
  • 1967From 1967 until the early 1970s Wallem ordered a range of new vessels from Japanese yards, including specialized pipe carriers, a woodchip vessel and Freedom type general cargo ships.
  • 1967Wallem Shipping (Thailand) Ltd established in Bangkok.
  • 1971Wallem-Ringdal Offshore Ltd set up to contract and arrange charters and management of offshore drilling rigs via a number of syndicates. Five rigs were built and then before 1980 were sold on a by then booming market.
  • 1971General Sales Agency (GSA) for Cargolux airline was established by Wallem in Hong Kong to handle the new CL-44 swingtail turboprop aircraft that operated regularly to the region.
  • 1971New operating company Wallem Ship Management Ltd incorporated to technically manage a brand new fleet of ten product tankers for Gotaas-Larsen - vessels that had also been contracted at the yard and hire-purchased to Pertamina by Wallem.
  • 1972Wallem Chairman Mr Nordahl Wallem died in Bergen on 9th December, with his shares passing to his widow Blanche and daughter Anne-Sophie.
  • 1973Wallem Travel Ltd was established to manage crew movements, and this was later expanded to include GSAs for various airlines under the name Wallem Airways Ltd.
  • 1973Wallem Towage and Salvage Ltd established in Thailand, at its peak owning 35 assorted vessels operating in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
  • 1976Wallem enters into partnership with Jahre, DAL and Prince Mishaal Abdulaziz Al Saud in Saudi Arabia to own and operate large tankers as the Saudi Orient Marine Company Ltd. After three years managing the Jeddah office, Wallem sold back its interest.
  • 1980Awarded the management (held for 15 years) of the 'Jahre Viking', the world's largest ship at 564,763 dwt.
  • 1981On the death of Nordahl Wallem's widow Blanche, the Wallem Group was acquired by Hill Samuel and in the process acknowledged as the “world's largest ship management concern” by Lloyd's List.
  • 1988Wallem's Shanghai office re-opened.
  • 1989Jahre Wallem Ship Management Ltd incorporated - a joint venture to manage the Jahre family fleet.
  • 1989Wallem buys a freight forwarding company in Hong Kong (CIFF).
  • 1991Wallem Vietnam opened in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • 1992Ownership of the Wallem Group was acquired, under a pre-emptive right, by Anthony Hardy who brought in as majority shareholder Caledonia Investments and staff participation through Mellaw Investments Ltd.
  • 1993A fleet of seven handysize bulkers (28,000 - 30,000 dwt) was purchased together with partners and operated principally in Asia.
  • 1994Taiwan Wallem Transportation opened.
  • 1994Wallem managed the VLCC 'Ambon', one of the first ships certified by the Green Award.
  • 1997Resumption of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong.
  • 1998Japan ship agency company acquired.
  • 1999Decision taken to close the ship operating division, with the handysize bunkers being transferred into the Pacific Basin bulk pool.
  • 1999Wallem Innovative Solutions established and Wallem e-procurement launched (a proprietary supply chain management tool for the marine business).
  • 2000Lloyds Maritime Asia 'Best Ship Manager' and 'Best Crew Manager' Awards.
  • 2001Lloyds Maritime Asia 'Best Ship Manager' Award.
  • 2002Management of FSO tanker 'Okha', a 157,200 dwt vessel designed to operate in fully icebound conditions.
  • 2003Wallem Centenary - 100 years young!
  • 2004Wallem GmbH & Company KG Germany is established.
  • 2004Pen-Wallem established, the first foreign Ship Agency joint venture in China.
  • 2004Purchase of Harpers Singapore and an associated share of Harper Wira in Malaysia.
  • 2005New Wallem Maritime Training Centre established in Mumbai.
  • 2005COSCO Wallem Ship Management Co. Ltd established in Qingdao.
  • 2006New Wallem Maritime Training Centres open in Qingdao and Manila.
  • 2006FW Ship Management Ltd established in Hong Kong.
  • 2006Woodstreet Investments BV acquired The Wallem Group. Woodstreet is jointly controlled by shipping industry specialists, Tom Steckmest, the great-grandson of the founder Haakon Wallem, and Nigel Hill.
  • 2007Women of Wallem (WoW) set up in India to provide support to our seafarers' families and their local communities.
  • 2008Celebrating 50 years in Singapore.
  • 2008Women of Wallem (WoW) set up in the Philippines to provide support to our seafarers' families and their local communities.
  • 2009Wallem Ship Management achieves SAS 70 auditing standard certification (SOX).
  • 2009ID Wallem Ship Management established in Hong Kong.
  • 2010India offices celebrate 25 years of seafarer recruitment and training.
  • 2011Wallem Singapore welcomes 100th cruise call in a 12-month period.
  • 2011Simon Doughty was promoted to Group Managing Director. He originally joined the Group in 2005 as Managing Director, Wallem Ship Agencies.
  • 2012Women of Wallem (WoW) set up in Sri Lanka to provide support to our seafarers' families and their local communities.
  • 2012NW Ship Management established in Singapore to manage a Chinese tanker fleet.
  • 2012Ship broking services return to Shanghai office.
  • 2012Freight forwarding team established in Thailand.
  • 2012SeaSafe Marine established offering independent lifeboat servicing and testing.
  • 2012Marine Buying Services established to offer project-based purchasing.
  • 2013First hub of expertise established in Singapore, where The Wallem Group offers a diversified range of Maritime Solutions to the cluster of maritime companies now established in Southeast Asia.
  • 2013Celebrating 110 years of excellence in maritime services.
  • 2013The Wallem Group acquires full ownership of Wallem Shipmanagement GmbH in Hamburg, Germany.
  • 2013Delivering Maritime Solutions campaign launched to re-position The Wallem Group in the marketplace.
  • 2013Port Agency offices in South Africa established in Cape Town and Durban.
  • 2014Shipping Company of the Year by International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)
  • 2014Wallem Ship Management won the Car Carrier of the Year Awards and the Innovative Bunker and Idle Time Saving (IBIS) Award by NYK
  • 2014Ship Manager of the Year by Seatrade Asia Awards
  • 2014Wallem received award for Most Compassionate Employer of Indian Seafarers
SeaSafe Marine Wins Another Fleet Contract
SeaSafe Marine Wins Another Fleet Contract
12 July 2017
Leading lifeboat repair & maintenance specialist SeaSafe Marine has entered…

Leading lifeboat repair & maintenance specialist SeaSafe Marine has entered into a fleetwide lifeboat servicing contract with one of the world’s largest dry bulk operators. The agreement covers statutory annual and 5-Year services, as well as unplanned services and supply of all spares.

Managing Director of SeaSafe Marine, Andrew Lemmis says, “This recent agreement reflects the trend in owners outsourcing their lifeboat maintenance and repair to third party providers and the associated growth in demand for our unique product and service delivery.”

SeaSafe Marine

This agreement follows a series of new business wins for SeaSafe Marine since the beginning of the year. These include other lifeboat service fleet agreements with a leading Norwegian VLGC owner and a US-based dry cargo manager and the annual servicing of lifeboats, rescue boats and davits for several major cruise and ferry operators.

Customers choose SeaSafe for a fast and efficient service at flat rates with no additional charges. SeaSafe Engineers bring years of experience and a unique understanding of industry needs from both ship owner and service provider perspectives.


Why Seafarers matter the most
Why Seafarers matter the most
28 June 2017
For the past 6 years, International Day of the Seafarer has been celebrated…

Marine Director for Wallem Ship Management, Fared Khan explain why seafarers matter the most:

For the past 6 years, International Day of the Seafarer has been celebrated on 25th of June.Shipping carries more than 90 percent of world trade. Almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport. Making all this possible each and every day in the seven seas and thousands of ports worldwide are the 1.5 million seafarers; most often unseen.

These seafarers are responsible for operations on a variety of different ships and responsible for an even greater variety of different cargo; from the shoes that we wear and the food that we eat to complex chemicals and oil and gas which powers nations. There is no doubt that shipping is the life blood of the world economy.

The safety and wellbeing of all seafarers should be the main priority for the entire shipping industry. Seafarers dedicate themselves to life at sea, away from home, doing work that can often be challenging, lonely and even dangerous. On the other hand, it is a profession made up of very proud men and women and one full of adventure where no two days, whether at sea or in port, are the same.

At Wallem, we know that our seafarers are the oxygen of our business. We couldn’t do what we do without them and their safety and welfare is of paramount importance. We want our seafarers to do their jobs safely, feel a valued part of our teams and to return home safely to their families.


Our Wallem seafarers are made up of a great mix of people from different cultural backgrounds. All are respected and treated equal; irrespective of the colour of the passport they hold. We are strongly committed to ensuring their welfare. Training at our Wallem training centres emphasizes safety and a healthy work-life balance. We have a long-established wellness program onboard and we hold support and assistance for our seafarers and their families in high regard. In turn, the “Wallem Professional Seafarer’ is expected to have a strong safety mindset and take pride in his/her commitment to the ship they are entrusted with, their fellow seafarers, the environment, our customers and Wallem.

Wellness@Sea is a key aspect of our pre-joining safety briefings and training sessions and hard copies of the guide (in both English and Chinese) are available onboard for ready reference. The key is that we are empowering our seafarers to take care of themselves and their health, while offering them our full support. The program, which was developed in conjunction with a clinical psychologist, addresses mental and emotional health and covers every aspect of wellbeing at sea, from stress management to healthy eating and the importance of quality sleep and exercise; as well as a positive working culture and behavior. Monitoring is done to ensure that any seafarer showing signs of fatigue is not allowed to continue to work as they are risking endangering themselves, their colleagues, our owners assets’ and environment.

At Wallem we are very grateful for the constant support provided to our seafarers and their families by the various chapters of the charitable organization, Women of Wallem (WoW) in our seafarers’ communities. Knowing that their families are well taken care of and have a strong support system in their absence can bring comfort and allow the seafarers to focus on their responsibilities at sea.

Engagement and empowerment is also key to our approach at Wallem. We are committed to keeping our crews motivated and unified towards the same goal – safe and efficient operations for themselves, our customers and Wallem. We believe that making sure that our seafarers feel a part of our team is essential for their own wellbeing and to boost morale onboard. We have a strong mentorship program onboard and encouraging seafarers to raise any issues they have through Seavoice@Wallem - a confidential email portal that can be used without fear of bias and retribution. We hold events such as safety dinners onboard to increase social interaction and provide our seafarers with ample opportunities to upgrade their skills and training via our in-house training portal.

In short, focus and awareness on seafarers should not be limited to one day in a year. It should be part of an ongoing effort rather than a one off initiative. The industry has a responsibility to look after our seafarers and do everything we can to continuously support them. Seafarers matter. 

How to ensure you have a Ballast Water…
How to ensure you have a Ballast Water Treatment System onboard that actually works
26 June 2017
The second half of 2016 brought shockwaves to some shipowners who were…

Technical Director for Wallem Ship Management, Ioannis Stefanou shares his expertise on Ballast Water Treatment Systems:

The second half of 2016 brought shockwaves to some shipowners who were still in a state of denial about the need to install Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS) onboard their vessels. The ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention and the announcement of the first U.S. Coast Guard Type Approved BWTS, saw many shipowners rushing to drydock their vessels at the beginning of the year, or de-harmonise their IOPP certificates in an attempt to delay fitting a BWTS onboard their ships.

Others have already installed a BWTS onboard or have decided to install one. Much has been written on the various constraints that are to be faced for selecting and installing a system, but not much has been heard about the systems installed on board. Do they work? And by work I am not referring to if they treat the water to the desired level, I mean whether or not they are operational. The answer to this is that unfortunately many don’t, at least not in such a straightforward way as many manufacturers would like us to believe.

Within the Wallem-managed fleet we have more than 40 vessels with BWTS installed; either during the New Building stage or retrofitted. These are systems across the range of five different treatment technologies and by various manufacturers. Only two thirds of the systems installed were fully operational onboard within the first six months - on some vessels they were not fully operational even after a year. The problems weren’t inherent to a specific type of technology or manufacturer; although I have to mention that one type of technology had a 100% success rate for problem-free operations, despite different manufacturers. I don’t have any official numbers from the industry but it is understood from informal chats that issues with the installed systems is something commonly experienced.

At Wallem, when we realised the extend of the challenges that the crew and the Superintendents faced with the operation of some of the BWTS, we decided to follow a centralised approach and have one person focusing on making sure that the systems onboard had become fully operational, before handing over responsibility to the Fleet Superintendents.

Our approach to this compromises the three key elements for achieving operational excellence which are people, assets and procedures. We are focusing on crew training by the manufacturers, both onboard and ashore. We also offer familiarisation courses at our training centres as part of the pre-joining training. Lastly, we rotate some of our senior officers who are experienced with certain systems to enable them to share their knowledge and experience on board.

On the BWTS equipment front we are in close contact with the manufacturers in order to resolve the issues faced. I have to mention that the response and support by all manufacturers has been superb. There are inevitably issues with components or new issues (even new to the manufacturer) which crop up, but we always working together to bring the system to full operation in the shortest of time.

Finally, we have generated specific job routines in our planned maintenance system based on manufacturer’s instructions and our experience and also have created ship-specific operating instructions and troubleshooting advice. Even if it is not required yet, our policy is that the BWTS is operated regularly in order for the crew to be familiarised with the operation and that we maintain the system in full operational condition for when we are required to use it.

The road to Compliance with the Ballast Water Management convention and U.S. requirements is not easy for owners, and is certainly costly. Installing systems that might not be fully functional when required is not something that any owner would like to see. At Wallem we have experienced that good planning, execution and focus; as well as close cooperation between the BWTS manufacturers and the ship manager, can minimise the burden to the owner.