Wally van Weelde, together with his brother Hans van Weelde, founds ‘Van Weelde Bros. Shipping’ (‘VWBS’) in November 1964, with a small office in the ‘Scheepvaartkwartier’ in Rotterdam.
Initial focus of VWBS is on shipbroking, freight contracting and time chartering of dry bulk short sea vessels. These activities include the so-called ‘direct transhipments’ in the port of Rotterdam.
Confronted with difficult market circumstances in the short sea segment in northwest Europe, VWBS expands its activities to the Mediterranean Sea.
In the early Seventies, VWBS becomes one of the leading shipping agencies in Rotterdam.
The VWBS fleet grows substantially with on average 35 vessels simultaneously on charter. And the charter fleet transforms from a short sea fleet more and more into a Handysize fleet.
With the acquisition in 1974 and 1975 of the MV ‘Combi Trader’ and the MV ‘Combi Spirit’, VWBS takes its first tentative steps as a shipowner.
VWBS develops into a holding structure with three clearly defined activities : time chartering, broking & agency, and trading.
Next to its dry bulk activities, VWBS starts its broking activities in the reefer market and becomes one of the most active brokers in the small to medium-size reefer segment in the Atlantic.
In 1981, the 10,000th vessel is being handled in the Port of Rotterdam under the banner of VWBS.
VWBS starts a long history in Japan when the Company is introduced to ORIX Corporation. Being complementary to each other, ORIX – through Perseus Shipping, a Japanese ship management company and subsidiary of ORIX - and VWBS - as operator - initiate the ‘Confidence’ fleet.
In 1982, VWBS establishes a dedicated company for the commercial management of the ‘Confidence’ vessels, named ‘Orient Shipping Rotterdam’. As from the early Eighties until the sale of the ‘Brazilian Confidence’ in 2010, a total of 42 ‘Confidence’ vessels see the light; from ORIX and also from other sources.When the market starts to recover in 1987-1988, ORIX decides to sell many of the ‘Confidence’ vessels, basically kick-starting VWBS as a dedicated Handysize investor and shipowner. In the years thereafter, VWSG invests into close to ten ORIX vessels.
In 1989, ownership and management of the Company is being transferred from the founding partners Wally van Weelde and Hans Van Weelde to the next generation, Rob van Weelde and Koos de Kreij.
The ‘Van Weelde Bros. Shipping’ name changes into ‘Van Weelde Shipping Group’ (‘VWSG’).
In the Nineties - born from its long-time relationship with ORIX - VWSG transforms from a shipping company primarily chartering its vessels into a shipping investment- and owning company, including full technical management and crewing.
Joint-ventures were concluded with both Greek and Norwegian owners for shared ownership of Handysize vessels.
In 1997, VWSG qualifies under the newly introduced Dutch Tonnage Tax Shipping Law.
In 1998, VWSG establishes CSC Rotterdam for the coordination of its ship management activities.
In addition, in 1999, VWSG establishes Hellas Marine in Greece for the day-to-day technical management.
In 2000, VWSG establishes CSC Manila for the its crewing activities for the VWSG fleet and for third parties.
In 2004, VWSG places its first newbuilding orders in Japan at Yamanishi Zosen. Two 18,900 dwt Handysize bulkers – the MV ‘Lalinde’ and the MV ‘Kinatsi’ – are delivered in respectively 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, VWSG moves from the Coolsingel in downtown Rotterdam to the current head office in Capelle aan den IJssel.
In 2013, VWSG establishes Van Weelde Properties to develop and invest in commercial real estate in the Netherlands.
Also in 2013, VWSG orders three 34,000 dwt fuel efficient Handysize bulkers at Namura Shipbuilding Co. in Japan. Vessels to be delivered in 2016 and 2017.
In Q2 2014, in close consultation with a Chinese partner, VWSG orders two 39,000 dwt fuel efficient Green Dolphin Handysize bulkers at Nanjing Dongze Shipyard Co. Ltd. In China. Vessels to be delivered in Q4 2016 and Q1 2017.
On November 19th 2014, VWSG celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
In February and July 2016 the first two, out of the three, 34,000 dwt fuel efficient Handysize bulkers were delivered to the company; CRYSTAL CONFIDENCE and NORTHERN CONFIDENCE respectively.