Wallenius Lines is alone at the cutting-edge of the car-carrying industry and develops the roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) cargo systems. The company moves into Japan-Europe traffic.
The container makes its breakthrough in cargo handling, and the Suez Canal is closed, which benefits tanker operators.
New Scandinavian agent
Scandinavian Motorships becomes Wallenius Lines’ general agent in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Motorships also handles the co-ordination of the global agent network.
Sweden’s largest vessel
MT SOYA-ANDREA is delivered. This tanker is the largest vessel in Sweden’s merchant navy and is also the company’s training vessel with places for 12 trainees.
From LoLo to RoRo
Wallenius Lines’ newly developed cargo handling system changes the face of car carrying. The vehicles are loaded via stern or bow ramps instead of with cranes. The RoRo system (Roll-on-Roll-off) is born. Cargo handling becomes both quicker and safer.
First RoRo vessel
MS ANIARA is the world’s first RoRo vessel. The technology is still in its infancy and the first vessels are small and designed for short-sea shipping. MS ANIARA has the capacity to carry 240 cars.
Transoceanic capacity increases
When MS CARMEN and MS MEDEA, with a capacity of 1,950 cars, are delivered they are the first in a series of large car carriers. These new vessels operate on transoceanic routes and are combined car/bulk carriers. When carrying cars, decks are mounted into the hold and are dismantled again for bulk cargoes. The technique is labour intensive and Wallenius becomes, apart from the local stevedore companies, the largest employer in many international ports.
The world’s largest vessel
MT SOYA-BALTIC is delivered. She is the world’s largest combined ore carrier/tanker, and the largest Swedish vessel of any kind.
The first foreign car carrier in Japan
Japanese car manufacturers plan to start exporting to Europe and the USA, but lack the tonnage needed for vehicle transportation. Wallenius Lines signs a co-operation agreement and becomes the first non-Japanese car carrier to transport cars for Japanese manufacturers.
Build own terminals
Wallenius Lines builds its own port terminal in Bremerhaven, specially equipped to handle cars. This terminal was followed by terminals in a number of important ports in Europe (e.g. Antwerp and Rotterdam) as well as in Japan and the USA, in order to meet the growing demands of the car manufacturers.
A completely new port, Wallhamn, is built in Sweden for exporting cars to the USA and the Continent.
Start of container shipping
Container traffic grows around the world following the introduction of the container as the standard cargo unit in the 1960s.
Olof Wallenius takes the initiative to form the Atlantic Container Line (ACL). Wallenius Lines is one of five joint-owners of the ACL Consortium, the others being Transoceanic (two Swedish companies: Transatlantic and Broströms), CGM of France, Incotrans of Holland, and Cunard of England.
RoRo in transoceanic traffic
Wallenius Lines charters seven newbuilt large car/bulk carriers on a long-term basis for transoceanic traffic. The cars are loaded on and off using the still young RoRo technique via a cargo ramp in the hull, while the bulk cargo is handled with cranes. The company buys three of the vessels when the charter contracts expire, renaming them MS FAUST, MS FALSTAFF and MS FIDELIO.
The first car contract to the Middle East
Wallenius Lines wins its first car contract on the USA-Gulf route.
Delivery of container vessel
MS ATLANTIC SONG is delivered and is put into traffic on behalf of ACL. The vessel is also used for carrying cars and has the capacity to take 1,130 cars and 569 TEUs.
The cruise liner MS BOHÈME is delivered as Olof Wallenius is convinced that cruise traffic will be a profitable business. However, her maiden voyage is dogged by bad luck and she runs aground in the Stockholm Archipelago. Then MS BOHÈME is chartered out to ply the Caribbean traffic. The vessel is still a profitable business for Wallenius Lines and the future will show that cruise traffic is a viable venture, even if Wallenius Lines subsequently decides to become world leader in car carrying instead.
The world’s largest car carrier
MS RIGOLETTO is delivered. Her 2,600-car capacity makes her the largest car carrier in the world. The cars are handled with cranes. Another three sister ships are delivered in the coming few years – MS FIGARO, MS MADAME BUTTERFLY and MS TRAVIATA.