Douglas: One of the most famous names in shipping reckons he has found the perfect home to conduct his business. On the Isle of Man, just off the UK mainland, Lars T Ugland runs his eponymous LT Ugland Shipping, which now has a fleet of seven supramax bulkers. Ugland, a Norwegian, comes from a long line of shipowners, builders, charterers and managers. He founded the company in 2007, the year he moved from London to the Isle of Man where has been living ever since.
“I believe the Isle of Man has the best ship register in the world,” he says, adding he’s worked with eight other registers in the past.
“Isle of Man does not charge tonnage tax so as for VLCCs, capesizes and larger vessels this register has a great advantage. However, it is the service, understanding of the customer’s needs and flexibility that has impressed me most,” Ugland says, adding: “The Isle of Man has proven to be a great place to run a shipping company from. I am surprised that we don’t see more shipping companies relocate to this great island.”
LT Ugland Shipping’s fleet is made up exclusively of Tess 58s from Tsuneishi, a shipbuilder Ugland, 66, has a very close affinity with.
The Ugland family made its first order with Tsuneishi in 1978, becoming the first foreign owner to place and order with Tsuneishi.
Ugland is keeping his eyes open at expanding the fleet, he reveals.
“We are always looking at opportunities,” he says, adding: “There are deals to be made in a poor market. It is all about timing. We will stay with bulk carriers because this is where we have our expertise.”
On the markets, Ugland reckons dry bulk will bottom out this year and rates should gradually improve next year.