This year marks 50 years of third-party ship management services for BSM, a significant milestone as we began life as Hanseatic Shipping in Cyprus in April 1972; back then, we were the first international ship manager and offshore company on the island.
Hanseatic Shipping had significant impact on the decision of other German shipping companies to set up operations on the island. This attracted more shipping people from across Europe and created job opportunities, turning Cyprus into an international hub, Limassol into the world’s leading third-party ship management centre, and the Cypriot maritime registry into one of the largest in the European Union (EU). Today, the country’s maritime industry contributes over 7% of GDP, a far higher figure than in other countries engaged in merchant shipping. Ship management alone accounts for almost 5%.
By the way, the decision in favour of Limassol was unusual, and caused head-shaking in the industry at the time. When the Schulte Group’s team visited Cyprus in 1972 to pick a location for Hanseatic Shipping, their first stop was the city of Famagusta in the east where shipping activities were concentrated. After a tour of the entire island, the big surprise was a decision taken to base the location in Limassol, as it was a fishing village with no real port facilities. The fishing village has now become a thriving shipping, financial and trading centre.