Spliethoff Group is busy buying another six ships from the bankrupt Hansa Heavy Lift. The Amsterdam shipping company previously bought five vessels from the former German heavy cargo and multipurpose specialist.

This was reported by trade journal ShippingWatch, based on internal documents and a source close to the negotiations. A confirmation of the news has not yet been received, but it seems very likely that Spliethoff is indeed expanding its fleet with the ships.


According to IMO data, one of the six ships concerned, the HHL Richards Bay, has already been renamed Pauwgracht. It is also registered in the Netherlands, while in the past it sailed under the Liberian flag.

The five ships Spliethoff acquired earlier, were also renamed after canals. For example, the HHL New York was renamed Prinsengracht, while the HHL Elbe continued under the name Hudsongracht.


Hansa Heavy Lift went bankrupt at the end of last year, after owner Oaktree Capital had filed for bankruptcy. After years of losses, the investment fund did not want to put any more money into the company and could not find a buyer. It therefore saw no other way out than to pull the plug from the Hamburg shipping company.

Shortly afterwards, it became clear that Spliethoff wanted to take over five ships from the company. What was to happen to the other ships remained unclear. Now, it seems very likely that these vessels will also transfer to the Amsterdam-based company.

In addition to the aforementioned HHL Richards Bay, this includes the HHL Fremantle, the HHL Kobe, the HHL Tokyo, the HHL Lagos and the HHL Rio de Janeiro. According to the Danish magazine, they will be renamed Poolgracht, Pietersgracht, Paleisgracht, Pijlgracht and Parkgracht.

Source: Nieuwsblad Transport/Tom van Gurp

Picture: Spliethoff has a history of naming their vessels after canals. Here, the general cargo ship Spaarnegracht inbound on the Elbe river between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf.