The Westfal-Larsen family is the ultimate owners of a group of entities, mainly involved in worldwide shipping activities and maritime transportation. The Westfal-Larsen Group has headquarters in Bergen, Norway and is still owned by the founder’s direct descendants. Today, the Westfal-Larsen Group is involved in property investments, trade and industry, alongside its core business, maritime transportation.
In 1905 H. Westfal-Larsen established his own shipping company operating mainly in the timber and coal trade. The first ship to be delivered was “ SS Hardanger” in 1905, which H. Westfal-Larsen had contracted at the local yard, Bergens Mekaniske Verksted.
In 1917 the company’s first tanker “ST Malmanger” was delivered. Unfortunately, she was torpedoed on her maiden voyage in the North Atlantic. During the World War I Westfal-Larsen lost 9 ships despite Norway being neutral during the war.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Westfal-Larsen was one of the few shipping companies involved in the business of tanker and overseas liner trade. In 1938, Westfal-Larsen was Bergen’s largest shipping company, owning around a fourth of the city’s tonnage.
Westfal-Larsen was one of Bergen’s shipping companies that suffered the greatest loss during World War Two; with a 36 ship fleet, 22 were lost during the war. Due to their loss, the government favored and aided Westfal-Larsen in the restoration of its fleet. The fleet returned to its pre-war size in 1955.
In 1962, Westfal-Larsen entered into a business venture with ship owner Per Waaler, and established Star Shipping AS. Star Shipping AS demerged in 2008. As a consequence of the demerger parts of the management and marketing business of Star Shipping AS, including assets, liabilities and a number of employees, was transferred to Westfal-Larsen Shipping AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Masterbulk Pte. Limited.
In 1964, Westfal-Larsen entered into a partnership with Odfjell Shipping in the chemical tanker segment. The agreement was formalized in 1980 with the establishment of Odfjell Westfal-Larsen Tankers AS. In 1990, Westfal-Larsen concluded the cooperation and sold its 13 chemical tankers to Odfjell.
As of 1st October 2014 a new pool company was established named Saga Welco on the basis of a cooperation between Saga Forest Carriers AS and Westfal-Larsen Shipping AS. The pool company is owned 50% by Masterbulk and 50% of Saga Ship Holding (Norway) AS.