Our rich heritage

NORDEN celebrates: 151 years of sailing the seven seas

In 2021, NORDEN celebrated its 150th anniversary, being one of the world’s oldest international shipping companies. 

Over its 150-year history, NORDEN has been through several transformations in response to the changing world of global trade. From a small Danish steamship owner, it has become a leading global player in the dry cargo and product tanker markets, with offices in 15 countries across six continents.


151 years of sailing the seven seas

During the last decades, NORDEN has undergone a transition from an internationally oriented Danish shipping company to a global shipping company, headquartered in Denmark. The key to success has been and still is strong and lasting relationships based on our core values Empathy, Reliability, Ambition and Flexibility with large industrial customers around the world.

Step on board and join us through our historic gallery and get a few snapshots from NORDEN's many years as ship owner and operator.


Mr. Mads Christian Holm founds Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S.


The Company's first vessel, the steamship NORDEN, is launched.


Mr. Mads Christian Holm founds Helsingør Shipyard.


Around 100 years after the Danish royal family moved from Christiansborg Palace to the new royal residence of Amalienborg, Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S acquired a new domicile only a few hundred metres from the royal palace, at No 49, Amaliegade.


NORDEN's first motor vessel, NORDBO, is delivered.


The fleet of 9 vessels is reduced by 4 during World War II, 3 of which are lost in allied services.


NORDEN sells its last steamship, NORDLYS.


The vessel NORDPOL is lost during the armed conflict between India and Pakistan.


The first of 5 dry cargo vessels is delivered from Japan, and NORDEN enters what today is the core business of the Company.


The last liner-type vessel, NORDFARER, is sold.


NORDEN's Tanker department is established.


A merge between Dampskibsselskabet Orient and Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S takes place. Orient continues as the "operating" company, but the name is changed to Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S.


NORDEN expands and establishes offices in Singapore, Annapolis, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai.


A new growth strategy based on long-term charters with purchase options is set in place. Hence, NORDEN takes a giant step from minor shipowner to major tramp shipping company.


NORDEN establishes Norient Product Pool with pool-partner Interorient Navigation Company Ltd., Cyprus.


Sustainability becomes an integrated part of the NORDEN business. New vision, mission and values are rolled out as well.


NORDEN launches its climate action plan to reduce emissions from the Company's vessels.


NORDEN moves into its new domicile Bryghuset. 2008 is also the year where the Company celebrates its largest COA ever - 15 million tonnes of coal over a 15-year period.


NORDEN signs the UN Global Compact.


NORDEN finalises its first sustainability strategy with focus on i.a. reducing CO2 emissions, anti-corruption and responsible supply chain management.


NORDEN opens offices in Melbourne and Santiago.


A new sustainability strategy "Joint Effort - Mutual benefits" is launched. With this sustainability strategy, NORDEN has embarked on a new journey within sustainability, which increasingly focuses on shared value creation


A new office is established in Vancouver as NORDEN keeps growing its global reach.

For shipping, the introduction of the IMO 2020 regulation is one of the largest changes in modern history. As a consequence, NORDEN announces a significant investment in scrubbers, essentially enabling NORDEN to comply with the regulation by installing scrubbers on some vessels and switching to new fuel on others.

2018 is also the year where NORDEN acquires 100% ownership of Norient Product Pool and welcomes 60 “new” colleagues​.


NORDEN is on a journey of transformation, re-modelling the business with a focus on tradable positions, yet still with a solid foundation in the form of long-term contracts. Furthermore, sustainability is increasingly becoming an integrated part of NORDEN’s activities, which is reflected in the new sustainability strategy emphasising UN’s SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. There is a strong focus on decarbonisation and logistics optimisation, and in 2019, NORDEN celebrates its first test voyage with a large ocean-ongoing vessel powered solely on CO2 neutral biofuel.

NORDEN opens an office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and is now present on all relevant continents.