Thoresen Group in Thailand : Shipping and all related services

The Thoresen group of companies is one of the largest conglomerates within the Thai shipping sector and the Thai shipping services sector.
At the centre of the group is Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc.. This company owns as a holding company both the shipping operations of the group as well as all the shipping related services by way of a variety of subsidiary companies and joint ventures.

Shipping Operations

The Shipping Operations of the group is organized with Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc as the owner and the operator through subsidiary companies a fleet of 24 general cargo vessels and bulk carriers.
These 24 ships provide basically two kinds of services. One is liner services to Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and East Africa. Another is tramp services operating on a global basis with no fixed schedule.
Thoresen ships currently carry over 3 million tons of cargo per year. Roughly one third is fertilizer while another third is agricultural products. The rest is a mix of paper and pulp products, chemicals, concentrates and others.

Shipping Services

As for the Shipping Services, the range is much wider and the corporate structure much more complex. The company started by providing various ship agency services as early as 1926, with a branch office formally opened in 1937, and has since expanded the services to also include stevedoring, ship broking, ship maintenance and repairs, and various offshore related activities.
The net contributions from the Company’s service activities have over the years grown at a relatively high rate, and the company expects this growth to continue. The main areas are:
* Ship Agency 
* Insurance
* Stevedoring
* Ship Brokerage
* Offshore Related Services
* Ship Maintenance and Repairs
* Marine Communications

Ship Agency

In terms of number of ships handled, Thoresen has become the largest provider of ship agency services in Thailand, with offices in Bangkok, Sriracha, Mapthaput, Songkla, and Phuket. Its client base includes many of the major owners and operators of bulk carriers, ro-ro vessels, tankers, gas carriers, and cruise vessels. A shipping agent’s main duties include arranging for port entry formalities, berthing, discharging and loading, booking cargoes, supplying fuel, water, and stores, vessel repairs, and crew changes, etc.
Ship agency services are undertaken by three companies in the group. One is Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc. itself; another is Gulf Agency Company (Thailand) Ltd.; and the third is ISS Shipping (Thailand) Ltd.
Last year the group handled approx. 1,500 vessels.
Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc (TTA) is – apart from being the holding company of the whole group – one of the leading and oldest agents in Thailand. The company offers ship agency services at most ports and terminals in the country. The main office is in Bangkok with branch offices located at Sri Racha, Maptaphut, and Phuket. The agency division employs some 100 staff and in 2001 handled all together 868 vessels.
The company is representative for many first class principals including liner operators as well as auto carriers, bulk carriers, steel product carriers, oil tankers, gas carriers and many other types of vessels including cruise vessels.
Among liner operators, the main principals of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc are companies like Dainty Shipping, HUAL, Nortrans Shipping and SAFMUR; for dry cargo services the principals include Canpotex, Metall Und Rohstoff Shipping, Norsk Hydro, Star Shipping and Western Bulk Carriers; for tanker services companies like ExxonMobil, Itochu, Petroleum Authority of Thailand, Teekay Shipping, Thai Oil, and United Molasses are among the principals; and for cruise services principals include Cunard/Seabourn, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Star Cruises.
Gulf Agency Company (Thailand) Ltd. was established in early 1993 through the joint venture between Gulf Agency Company, Liechtenstein, and Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc. The company provides likewise ship agency services and today employs roughly 60 staff handling also import/export cargoes as well.
The parent company Gulf Agency company is a Swedish, privately owned, transportation & shipping company. The GAC group is one of the largest independent shipping agency and transport organizations in the world today, with its own offices on four continents and major operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, Indian, Sub-continent, Africa and Asia.
ISS Shipping (Thailand) Ltd. (ISS) – the third shipping agency company in the Thoresen group – is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc and a part of Inchcape Shipping Services. Inchcape Shipping Services in one of the largest independent port agency networks with offices providing port agency services in over 250 ports covering Europe, USA and Asia Pacific.
In Asia Pacific, Inchcape Shipping Services has been active for more than a century and is today one of the leading provider of agency services in the region.


Thai P&I Services International Ltd. acts as the local correspondents in Thailand for P&I Clubs as well as Hull and Machinery Insurance companies. In this capacity the company offers a full range of claims services like cargo damage survey, collision investigations, stowaway repatriation, dispute resolution and legal representation.
Thai P&I Services International Ltd. (c) was formally incorporated on February 22, 2000. Prior to its conception, it was a division of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc which specialized as shipping agents and correspondents for P&I Associaitons and H&M Underwriters
The Group took the decision to create Thai P&I Services International Ltd., a new name in the industry but bestowed with the Thoresen’s best business tradition and heritage of the last century, to be able to make itself more pronounced and efficient in the ever-growing needs within marine insurance for the best possible technical and legal assistance that is available in the situation.


Stevedoring services are undertaken by Chidlom Transport & Services Co., Ltd. Services offered include loading and discharging of cargoes, tallying services, and supply of various dunnage/lashing related products.
The company handled approx. 1.3 million tons of cargoes during the 2000/2001 financial year.
Chidlom Transport & Service Co., Ltd. (CTS) offers a comprehensive stevedoring service with a complete range of cargo handling in all Thai ports. Building upon years of experience since 1989, CTS is able to continuously apply modern handling systems to achieve high productivity, dispatch vessels in shorter time and to handle cargo damage free. At the present, CTS is handling more than million tons of cargoes per year.
CTS technical teams are experts in managing all types of difficult cargoes. They are all familiar with handling rice cargoes, sophisticated project cargoes in addition to steel, logs, lumber, wood pulp, paper, cylindrical cargoes, bags and general cargoes, Ro-Ro, unitized heavy lift, perishable food stuffs, fresh and frozen, unitized automobile, bulk-bag fertilizer, coal, coke, sulfur, iron steel, grain, aluminum, pencil pitch, cements, etc.
With the support of its clients CTS has expanded its cargo handling services to include truck transportation service, lighterage service, in-warehouse storage service, forklift service and many other related services.

Ship Brokerage

Fearnleys (Thailand) Ltd. fulfills the role of a broker between cargo interests and ship owners. The company is a joint venture between Thoresen and Fearnleys A/S of Norway, one of the world’s largest ship brokers.
Since its establishment in 1991 the company has become the largest ship broking company in Thailand.

Offshore Related Services

Mermaid Maritime Ltd., is a joint venture between Thoresen and a group of European managers with operating experiences in Thailand dating back to 1965.
The company has established itself as a dependable and quality conscious contractor to the merchant shipping, civil engineering, and offshore sectors of the Thai maritime industry, within the categories of safety equipment (service and supply), commercial diving and non-destructive testing, ship chandling, and product sales (marine related).
The company also owns and operates, through a 51% owned subsidiary company, a total of three offshore supply vessels operating in the Gulf of Thailand (two of which were acquired in November 2001).

Ship Maintenance and Repairs

Thoresen Service Center Ltd. focuses on wet and dry blasting, painting, and steel works onboard vessels, combined with reconditioning and overhauling of various marine machineries. Majority of work is currently performed on Thoresen owned vessels. The objective is for the company to gradually expand its client base.
Thoresen Service Center Ltd. (TSC) was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc to apply the skills and experience acquired by Thoresen to the field of ship repair and maintenance. Originally this com pany was established to help the Thoresen Groups’ own vessels in providing services of reconditioning, repairing, engine maintenance and cleaning, blasting & painting. But the objective of the company is now to gradually expand its client-base to the whole marine industrial sector in a wider sense.

Marine Communication

Horizon Mobile Communications Ltd., a company in which Thoresen holds 30.5 % of the shares, provides marine satellite communication solutions to its clients, including hardware, softwares, IT and engineering works.
This company is a specialized supplier of mobile satellite communications and packaged IT solutions. With registered office in Thailand, HMC is an associated company of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc. HMC has overseas registered offices located also in Singapore, Hong Kong and Norway as subsidiaries of HMC Thailand.
HMC offers unsurpassed 24×7 service and knowledge from our international team of IT professionals. It focuses on true “One Stop Shopping” for satellite communications solutions and provides a total package to the customer.
As a result of HMC’s customer focused approach to doing business we are not tied to any proprietary software, or to a particular airtime or hardware package. What we offer is a totally independent solution based on a customer’s unique requirements.
The company is official distributor for the following products/services:
* Thrane & Thrane AS Satellite Phone Products – Denmark.
* Station-12 Inmarsat Services – Netherlands.
* Sentosa Inmarsat Services – Singapore.
* France Telecom Inmarsat Services – France.
* Tescom Pager Testing Equipment – Korea.
* Dielectric Telecom Equipment – USA.
* Absolute Communications Smart Trac Tracking Solutions – NZ.
* Stratos Inmarsat and Iridium Services – Canada.

In addition to this, HMC also supplies the following services:
* Iridium Satellite Phones and airtime.
* Nera Satellite Phone Products – Norway.
* ACeS and Thuraya Satellite phones/services.
* Skywave Inmarsat D-Plus Tracking Hardware – USA.


Three Norwegians, Mr. Arne Teigen and his two sons Frode and Ole Teigen – are among the top Management and Shareholders of the Thoresen Group. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is M.R. Chandram S. Chandratat.
Thai members of the board include Mr. Sompong Thanasophon, Vice Admiral Kittichai Senanarong, Mr. Sathien Tejapaibul, Dr. Teera Ashakul, Dr. Opart Petchmunee and one Swede, Mr. Bjorn Ostrom.

Historical Background
Established in Hong Kong in 1904 Thoresen initially provided shipping services to Norwegian companies on the coast of China and Asian businesses trading between China and Siam. Having expanded considerably throughout the years Thoresen is proud of its Asian heritage and its leading position in the shipping sector in the region

Thoresen’s first physical presence in Thailand was in 1926 and a branch office was opened in 1937. This office was established to act as ship agents and correspondents for marine insurance companies. It is said that large oak trees grow from little acorns and as Thoresen’s transportation services expanded in the Asia-Pacific region, so grew its Bangkok office which became ever busier, culminating in the establishing of an independent company, namely Thoresen & Co., (Bangkok) Ltd. Since its establishment in 1974, this company has evolved into Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited, the holding company for all Thoresen Group companies in Thailand and has become a listed company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 1995. 

The Thoresen Group is today one of the leading shipping groups in Thailand, owning and operating a total of 25 dry cargo vessels and providing a wide range of shipping related services, including ship agencies, stevedoring, ship brokerage, ship repairs, and various offshore related activities.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

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