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.
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.
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 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.