Shipping culture has defined the lives of the people living on and around Donsö, an island in Gothenburg’s southern archipelago. This small island is the home of Furetank, and the owners of the company today exhibit the strong tradition of seamanship which has existed on the island for centuries.
For over 300 years, the Höglund family has been captains and owners of various types of ships. The company grew out of the oil trade expansion that took place in the 1950s. The first tanker was ordered in 1954, followed by an even larger vessel shortly after.
The fleet continued to grow with each generation that entered the firm and over the years, the company has built/owned 20 different vessels. “In 2009, a new chartering operation was established in Holbaek, Denmark,” adds Lars Höglund, Managing Director. “In 2012, we became a founding member of the Gothia Tanker Alliance.”
Through these ventures, the business operates 40 vessels ranging in size from 6,000 dwt to 37,000 dwt. Furetank is passionate about being a founding member of the Gothia Tanker Alliance, because it helps the company offer an even more comprehensive service network to its clients. The alliance is made up of six members.
“Because we are a part of this outstanding group, we are able to give customers more choices when it comes to the size of the vessel as well as the timing of loading,” says Mr. Höglund. Members can offer the best vessel size for the job, which is waiting in the most convenient location and is available at the requested time.
Through the alliance, Furetank has vessels available from 5,000 to 40,000 dwt. When it comes to doing business, fleet size and capacity are not the only things the company concerns itself with. The business is very dedicated to decreasing the environmental impact its vessels have on the oceans and the planet as a whole.
Between 2014 and 2016, Furetank sold three flagship vessels and is in the process of replacing them with three new ships that are environmentally friendly, have dual fuel (LNG) engines and are built to the latest known requirements. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) marine engines are dual fuel engines that use natural gas and bunker fuel to convert chemical energy to mechanical energy.
“We are focused on being the leader in developing modern, intermediate-sized product and chemical tankers,” adds Mr. Höglund. Being friendly to the environment often comes at a great cost to the company that is trying to be more responsible.
The amount of money shipping firms need to spend on new vessels is exponentially higher than older, less sustainable types of vessels. It is also a challenge to convince some customers to use more environmentally friendly vessels and accept the extra costs associated with them.
However, with its long history in maritime trade and solid reputation Furetank is able to make its case for eco-friendly ships in a persuasive manner. Other than reducing its carbon footprint, the company remains focused on optimizing its vessels to have as much cargo as possible on them.
This is done by building up a transport system between the refineries and the ports. “It is important that we offer clients a fast turnaround time at the ports and make sure our cargo tanks are easy to clean,” states Mr. Höglund. Furthermore, with its chartering office in Gothenburg that operates in cooperation with Gothia Tanker Alliance, Furetank is able to give its customers a lot of choice and advises them on which vessel is the best option for each contract.
“Many of our managerial team have several years of experience as officers, engineers and captains,” explains Mr. Höglund. “This gives us the advantage of knowing which ship is right for each job from personal experience.” In the future, this ambitious company will continue to export to locations in and around Scandinavia, Western Europe and the Baltics while promoting its cleaner energy agenda.