Since 1883, we have innovated and challenged the
conservative shipping industry to provide our
customers with superior solutions for moving cargo.
1883 — Beginning
Dannebrog, Weco’s original name, was established in 1883 and we remain today one of the oldest shipping companies in Denmark.
Dannebrog was established by Johan Hansen Sr, the second-generation leader in the firm C.K. Hansen, and these two companies would be synonyms during the early years.
The companies were housed in an office on Esplanaden 15, right across from where A.P. Møller – Maersk A/S headquarters reside today. In fact, the young Arnold Peter Møller was employed in Dannebrog as a chartering manager, before starting his own company in 1904 – you might say, we taught him everything.
Picture of Johan Hansen Sr and the first company office on Esplanaden 15.
Expansion — 1914
Dannebrog expanded to 42 vessels, which at the time was Denmark’s largest fleet of tramp ships, and the company was listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange ‘Borsen’.
Original models of MS Stjerneborg & MS Taarnborg hanging in the Board meeting room in Weco Office in Rungsted
1931 — The Great Depression
Dannebrog vessels, laid up on Langelinje
During the Great Depression, the people of Copenhagen could see so many Dannebrog vessels laid up on Langelinje in the heart of Copenhagen, that Langelinje was for a time popularly known as ‘Dannebrog Street’. The depression in general took a toll on Dannebrog, which shrunk in size compared to its former glory.
Dannebrog vessels laid up on Langelinje in central Copenhagen in 1931
Ebbe Wedell-Wedellsborg — 1967
Ebbe Wedell-Wedellsborg assumed ownership of the company, restructuring the company by divesting a number of ships and settling debts.
By 1968 only four vessels remained,
but the time signaled the commencement of a prosperous period for Weco.
Picture of Ebbe Wedell-Wedellsborg in his office
1969 — Søholm
In 1969 ‘Søholm’ was acquired and Dannebrog was moved to a beautiful office in Rungsted by the coast, north of Copenhagen. Today, customers and business partners enjoy visiting us at our historic and idyllic headquarters, with the occasional party thrown in our gardens.
Picture from Søholm Summer 2022
Sheep — 1975
At the height of the oil crisis, good advice didn’t come cheap. Weco had to innovate, and the ageing 20.000 ton ageing chemical tanker MT Dansborg was retrofitted to transport livestock.
The ship could fit 30.000 braying sheep from Australia to the Middle East, and while some of the crew complained about the smell, the business thrived, expanding to four retrofitted ships bought in a depreciated second hand market, and continued until 1990.
Picture of MT Dansborg retrofitted to transport sheep
1984 — Nordana
Nordana was acquired from DFDS with a number of RoRo liner services from Europe to Americas and to Europe to Africa.
Nordana also operated a project shipping business under Nordana Projects and Chartering (NPC) with both owned and chartered MPP vessels. Nordana operated with success for many years, but the project vessels and RoRo vessels could over time not compete with the large container carriers, and NPC was sold to Rickmers from Germany in 2016. The RoRo line was closed down in 2017.
Picture of MV Wedellsborg, which was deployed on the transatlantic RoRo service
Johan Wedell-Wedellsborg — 2001
In succession from his father, Johan Wedell Wedellsborg assumed ownership in 2001, and has charted a new course for Weco Shipping into the tanker and dry bulk owner and operator we are today.
Picture of Johan Wedell-Wedellsborg from 2022
StenaWeco — 2011
Stena acquired half of Dannebrog’s chartering team in 2011, and during six years of collaboration, StenaWeco grew to a successful platform with 50 owned and chartered MR product tanker vessels.
Weco divested the 50% share of StenaWeco in 2017 and Stena continued operaring under the name Stena Bulk – Products and Chemicals.
Picture of StenaWeco Impulse, a 49.750 DWT IMOIIMAX product tanker vessel owned by StenaWeco
2013 — Weco Bulk
Weco Bulk was established as a dry bulk operator from a small beginning of just three staff in Rungsted, to over 25 staff today across offices in Rungsted, Houston, Sao Paulo and Singapore – operating a large fleet of owned and chartered vessels.
Picture of Weco Esther, 61.275 DWT Ultramax Dry Bull vessel from 2022
Weco Tankers — 2020
Weco returned to product tankers in 2020 with our own tanker operator Weco Tankers, and offices in Rungsted, Houston and Singapore, lead by the former management team of Dannebrog and Stena Weco. The business unit is thriving.
Picture of Weco Pisces, 49.999 DTW MR ECO Product tanker vessel from 2022