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Ems-Fehn expands to the Mediterranean with Global Boat Shipping

The Leer-based Ems-Fehn Group, which is active in the MPP, shortsea and project logistics market, is expanding its business in the prestigious yacht transport sector.

As the East Frisian company has now confirmed, a new office is to be opened in the Mediterranean for its subsidiary Global Boat Shipping, following a year in which more than 600 yachts and boats were transported. “We have seen a steady increase in demand in recent months,” said Managing Director Michel Wirt. “All signs indicate that this trend will continue in 2022.”

Ems Fehn Yacht 2 3
© Ems-Fehn Group

GBS currently has offices in Leer in East Frisia and Elmshorn, among other places. Its customers include private owners as well as manufacturers of leisure boats. Yacht transportation has become an increasingly important business for many MPP shipowners and project logistics companies. Irrespective of impressive photo motifs, the market offers many sales opportunities. In some cases, there are separate departments just for this business. In addition to Ems-Fehn, the shipping companies BBC Chartering from Leer or AAL Shipping, Spliethoff and Wagenborg are among the active players in this area.

“Today, we ship more yachts per month than we did in the entire year not so long ago,” confirms Wirt. In 2021, there was an increase of around 50% compared to 2019. GBS benefits from being part of the EMS-Fehn Group, says the Managing Director. The group now includes 19 shipping and logistics companies in ten European countries.

Boost from the corona pandemic

The yacht transport industry has received a particular boost from the Covid-19 pandemic, Wirt continues: “In times of limited travel and contact options, many have discovered the benefits of a vacation on their own or a chartered yacht.” The proportion of smaller boats among the various units has increased.

Ems Fehn Yacht 1
© Ems-Fehn Group

Regardless of the pandemic, GBS – like all market players – has faced a number of challenges in recent months. These included, for example, the blockade of the Suez Canal by the damaged container ship “Ever Given” and congested ports on the US coasts. “We often had to take unusual routes to ensure that our customers’ yachts reached their desired destination on time,” reports Wirt.

New technology, more staff

In order to cope with the increased order volume, GBS and its sister companies in the EMS-Fehn Group have recently started using new software. Manfred Müller, CEO of the Group, says: “Planning, coordinating and successfully completing a large number of global transports does not work without the right technology.”

M.Muller 1
Manfred Müller, CEO of the Ems-Fehn Group (Photo: Ems-Fehn Group)

A new branch, which the company plans to open soon in the Mediterranean region, will also contribute to GBS’s growth. “Even though other regions have gained in importance, the Mediterranean remains one of our most important markets,” says Managing Director Wirt. He is not yet revealing the exact location, but emphasizes: “We will be represented in a very popular region and thus be even closer to our customers.” At the same time, the team in Elmshorn is set to grow. “For our office there, we are looking for additional shipping clerks and logisticians who are interested in an exciting market, a great product and nice colleagues.”


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Caption: © Ems-Fehn Group