September 3-4, 2019
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What is Donsö Shipping Meet
Our ambition has always been to take genuine care of our visitors, industry partners and affiliates, staying true to our tradition of hospitality on the island. That’s why we make a conscious decision to continue putting on this event as we always have done — using all available local resources to cater to a multitude of participants. We offer transportation, catering and guides to ensure that all attendees will receive the warmest of welcomes.
Here in Donsö, we convene innovators, operators and owners under a common theme – shipping – and invite all to contribute their diverse perspectives, in an effort to build a comprehensive shared understanding of industry needs. We know that this will support a sound and robust shipping business climate.
Donsö Shipping Meet aims to elevate Swedish shipping in the international arena, to be a rewarding and productive event for all involved, and to serve its time-honored role as a meeting point for the entire maritime cluster. We want to offer all participants a more intimate event, where meeting new contacts and making connections is prioritized. We strive for all to feel welcomed and taken care of. Our mission is to create a fantastic environment for all participants to network with customers, clients and colleagues, and to support exhibitors and shipping companies in doing business.
Welcome to Donsö, let’s meet!
When you step ashore on the island of Donsö, the first impression is one of a genuine fishing village. The houses crowd up against each other and the many boat houses lining the boat harbor bear the name plaques of fishing vessels. There is also a much appreciated smokehouse still in use.
But today, the island is no longer dominated by the fishing industry. These days, cargo shipping, and in particular tanker shipping, has taken over. There are around ten shipping companies in Donsö that are active in tanker shipping in the bulk goods and chemical sectors. Many ships, around 50 of them, are controlled by businesses on the island, though most of them cannot call at Donsö as they are too large. This is set to change, however, as the current development and expansion of the harbor makes room for more and bigger ships.
The tanker trade is experiencing a lot of activity, with many new ships currently being built. Ever since the Ekenäs was delivered in 1955, Donsö shipowners have been specifically ordering customized new tankers, with few being been bought second-hand. This has enabled them to make their mark on the design of the ships and develop them both practically and functionally. Shipowners on the island have consequently built up an enormous amount of knowledge, which has ushered them to the leading edge of innovation in shipping.
Donsö is quite a small island with about 1,500 permanent inhabitants. Unlike other islands in the Swedish archipelago, Donsö is not just a summer vacation destination. There is a lot going on all year round, and there are relatively few summer cottages. There are no cars here; those who live here drive flatbed mopeds and electric golf carts. Generations of Donsö inhabitants have worked together and helped each other through thick and thin. This has resulted in the unique Donsö spirit instilled in all its inhabitants. For example, when a new ship is delivered, everyone is happy about it — even competitors.
It’s said that the people of Donsö work in either fishing or cargo shipping, whichever is most profitable. As everybody knows, the fishing industry has been experiencing a crisis for a long time and as a result, cargo shipping dominates these days and fishing has more or less come to a halt on the island.
It wasn’t always like this. A hundred years ago, fishing vessels dominated. In those days, the fishing vessels had no engines, but when engines were introduced in 1910, engine manufacturers began doing business with shipping companies and shipyards were established to build boats that were strong enough to have these engines installed. And the engines needed fuel. The merchants on Donsö were quick to satisfy this need by fetching oil from Gothenburg in barrels and delivering it to the fishing vessels. After some time, they realized that it would be better to install a tank in the ships. Thus, the bunker tanker was born.
The shipyard Donsö Varv was established to service all the ships in the archipelago. The shipyard also began building fishing vessels, mainly for fishermen from Donsö. Over time, and as a result of larger coastal tonnage and fewer new orders, the shipyard finally closed down.
In time, oil was delivered to an increasingly large area. After World War II, an old ship that had sailed on the Dalsland Canal was purchased and converted to a tanker. It was named Kajo — the initials of the owners Kristen, Albert, John and Olle (a fine example of Donsö collaboration). They began to ship oil via Dalsland Canal, Lake Vänern and Göta Canal. The ships grew larger and larger and the people of Donsö had good working relationships with the big oil companies. Since they trusted each other, they were able to continuously develop the ships, thus benefiting both parties.
Today, the tankers sail mostly in European waters, although some ships are sailing to Africa on time charters. A few years ago, a company was formed to provide services to the wind power industry. This shipping company already has many units in operation and is expanding rapidly. This is yet another example of how the entrepreneurs of Donsö adapt to the world around them.
Transfer to Donsö
There will be a free boat transfer chartered by Donsö Shipping Meet between Gothenburg and Donsö. We offer two stops, at Stenpiren and at Eriksberg. Read more about transfer and accommodation during the event.