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
True North Issue 2 2017 Out Now
True North Issue 2 2017 Out Now
23 June 2017
Wallem Group’s latest True North magazine is available online now!

Wallem Group’s latest True North magazine is available online now! 

Thumbnail pic  This issue's theme is ‘Customer Service'.

  Featured articles include: 

 • 50 Years of Service with a Smile
 • Torn Between Two Passions
 • Strengthening the Connection between Sea & Shore


  Click here to read.

Celebrating 50 Years in Thailand!
Celebrating 50 Years in Thailand!
16 June 2017
On 6th June, Wallem’s Board of Directors and senior management joined our…

On 6th June, Wallem’s Board of Directors and senior management joined our Thai colleagues and valued customers for a special celebration to mark our 50th Anniversary in Thailand.

What began back in June 1967 as a small office to support the Group’s further expansion into South East Asia, has developed into a strong regional hub. Today our Thailand team provides agency port services, itinerary planning, technical & drydock support and lifeboat servicing, etc. on a range of vessel types and our aviation team handles everything from dangerous goods to oversized cargoes.

 Thailand photos

Having been in the business for 50 years, it is our expertise and the strength of our relationships with our customers and with other parties such as local marine and government officials which sets Wallem people apart.

We are excited to continue supporting the growth of our business in Thailand and to further share our strength, insight and expertise in this growing market in the years ahead.

Click here to read more about the services our Thailand office provides.


Wallem Ship Agency Featured in SMF Video
Wallem Ship Agency Featured in SMF Video
14 June 2017
We are excited to share the news that Wallem Ship Agency Operations Manager,…

We are excited to share the news that Wallem Ship Agency Operations Manager, Thomas Cheoh is featured in video filmed by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).

Thomas was invited to take part in the video project, which is part of a series of profiling videos aimed at promoting the shipping, port and maritime services in Singapore.

Thomas is featured in the video about role of a ship agent - please click image below to watch.


The videos will be aired for a month from 22nd June onwards as commercials at GV theatres in Singapore.

Big thank you to Praveen Shukla and Frankie Tan for helping to make this happen and to the Singapore Maritime Foundation for inviting us to take part in this exciting video project.

And a big thank you and well done to our very own movie star, Thomas Cheoh!