Our history

1974

The Hesnes Group was established as a shipbroking company in 1974 by Mr. Pål Smith-Kielland.

Mr. Pål Smith-Kielland started his career with one of Oslo’s leading shipbrokers and was later sent to Tokyo and New York, where he studied the international car carrier market, as well as the basics of bulk shipping.

Hesnes Shipping AS was the start of Hesnes Group, had a rapid expansion and soon became one of the leading automobile transport brokers. Through Hesnes Shipholding, the car carrier involvement was taken one step further by the purchase of car carriers with charter back arrangements to major operators.

Hesnes Group history old car being shipped

Timeline

1974
1974

1974

In 1974, Pål Smith-Kielland established his first company, Hesnes Shipping AS. His idea was to be a specialized shipbroker in the car carrier market. From his stay in Tokyo, Mr. Smith-Kielland had established a business relationship with Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) which was one the largest ship owning companies in the world.
1994
1994

1994

In 1994, Mr. Smith-Kielland was asked by NYK to run United European Car Carriers (UECC) in Grimstad. UECC was, and still is, a leading provider of European short sea roro transportation. Smith-Kielland accepted after being offered a helicopter to commute back and forth between Tjøme and Grimstad on a daily basis. The period was longer than anticipated and lasted nearly four years.

1996
1996

1996

As a consequence of the UECC engagement and that Smith-Kielland now had some experience in how to run a helicopter company, Hesnes Air, a commercial helicopter operation, was established.

2000
2000

2000

In 2000, Smith-Kielland was asked by NYK to run yet another company, Saga Forest Carriers Intl AS (Saga FC). Saga FC is a global shipping company that transports pulp, forest products, breakbulk and bulk cargoes. The company’s head office was in Atlanta at that time. Once again Smith-Kielland accepted NYK’s request, and the company’s head office was moved to Tonsberg.

In 2000, Hesnes merged with Neptun, and the Hesnes Neptun Group (HNG) was established. Included in this deal was Buksér og Berging (BB). BB is a market leader in providing specialized towage vessels for the marine, oil and gas industries.

2003
2003

2003

In 2003, HNG was dissolved and the shares in BB were sold. The proceeds from this sale were used to purchase the open hatch vessels MV Saga Spray, MV Saga Morus, MV Saga Monal. All three vessels were chartered out to the Saga FC pool and the Saga FC pool now consisted of NYK and Leif Höegh & Co vessels.

2006
2006

2006

In 2006, Hesnes Air expanded into fixed-wing operation and bought its own hangar and office at Torp, Sandefjord, in Norway.

2009
2009

2009

In 2009, Hesnes Management Services AS (HEMS) was established to consolidate all administrative tasks into one unit. HEMS serves all operative companies within Hesnes at the time, as well as Saga FC.

2010
2010

2010

In 2010, Hesnes acquired shares in Norwegian Oil Trading AS (NOT). NOT is a global provider of marine fuels and distillates and offers comprehensive bunker brokerage, trading, oil market analysis and risk management. Later NYK Trading joined as a co-owner and Hesnes became main shareholder of NOT.

2012
2012

2012

In 2012, Hesnes Air signed a large contract with Oslo University hospital regarding donor flying and the fleet expanded with another jet. Hesnes Air now consisted of two helicopters, three fixed wings and 20 employees. Hesnes Air was sold late 2018, after being a part of Hesnes Group for 23 years.

2014
2014

2014

In 2014, a new pool company, Saga Welco AS (SW), was established as a partnership between Saga FC and Westfal-Larsen Shipping AS. The fleet now consisted of 52 open hatch vessels.

2016
2016

2016

In 2016, Pål Smith-Kielland transferred the majority of his shares in Hesnes to his daughters, Kaja and Ida. Two years later, Mr. Smith-Kielland celebrated his 70th birthday and retired from the position as CEO and Chairman of the Hesnes Holding Board. He continues as an advisor for Hesnes and a board member in the holding company. Morten Gjølstad, who has worked in Hesnes since 1994, becomes the Senior Managing Director in Hesnes Group.

2020
2020

2020

In January 2020 Hesnes reorganized, and Pia K. Harneshaug, who has worked within the company since 1990, became the CEO of Hesnes Group.