Our History

Our History

Starting in 1959, Jacob Stolt-Nielsen built from the ground up three companies that led the way in dynamic and emerging industries. He invented the modern parcel tanker, built a leading offshore services company and pioneered the aquaculture industry.

Today the Stolt-Nielsen name is synonymous with leadership, innovation and quality.


  • Christer Olsson, Chairman of the Board, passed away on 29 December, aged 70. He had served as a Director of the Company since 1993, and as Chairman of the Board since 2009, when he succeeded Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, the Company's founder.
  • Founder Jacob Stolt-Nielsen passed away on February 15, aged 83. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1959, when he founded the Company, until 2009. He remained a Director until his retirement in 2014. He held the position of Chief Executive Officer from 1959 until 2000.


  • Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, founder and visionary, retired from the Board of Directors effective December 15, thus formally concluding his career at the company, 55 years to the date of its founding.
  • Stolt Tankers relocated its Norwalk staff to Houston. Approximately 60 employees will be affected by the move.
  • Avance Gas Holding Ltd completed its initial public offering ("IPO") and listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.


  • SNL acquired a 20% stake in Norterminal AS, a project to develop a world-class crude oil terminal and a gas storage facility in northern Norway.


  • Stolt Tankers B.V. ordered five 38,000 deadweight ton stainless steel parcel tankers, with options for three more, from divisions of China Shipbuilding Group Corporation (CSSC).
  • Stolt Sea Farm acquired Acuidoro S.L., a turbot farm in Cervo, Spain, and Alrogal S.A., an adjacent hatchery.  The facilities will support SSF’s production of turbot and the expansion of its sole operations.
  • Stolthaven Terminals acquired a bulk-liquid storage terminal in Dagenham, Port of London, UK, the division’s first in the UK market.
  • Stolt Tank Containers added over 2,600 new tanks into its global fleet, plus two new depots for a total of 14.
  • Avance Gas acquired four VLGCs, two on the open market and two from Transpetrol Holdings Ltd., which became one-third shareholder in Avance Gas, joining Sungas and Stolt-Nielsen Gas as an equal owner.  As a result, the Avance Gas fleet doubled in size to a total of eight owned VLGCs.
  • Stolthaven Terminals acquired a bulk-liquid storage terminal in the Port of Moerdijk, The Netherlands, providing added support to the Company’s inter-European coastal tanker and inland barging services.


  • Stolthaven Terminals opened a new petrochemical terminal on Jurong Island, Singapore, commencing operations with three gas spheres and plans for a total of 300,000 cbm of storage to be built over the next two-to-three years.
  • Stolthaven Terminals acquired a 70% stake in Marstel Terminals, a network of nine bulk-liquid storage facilities in Australia and New Zealand, subsequently renamed Stolthaven Australasia Pty.
  • Stolt Tank Containers added approximately 5,000 new tanks into its global fleet, an increase of nearly 20%.


  • Sungas Holdings Ltd. became a 50% shareholder in Avance Gas, which was previously wholly owned by Stolt-Nielsen Gas.  Avance Gas acquired three VLGCs from Sungas as part of the transaction.
  • Stolt Tankers B.V. acquired seven sophisticated stainless steel parcel tankers in a series of transactions for a total consideration of $255 million.  The ships were built between 2000 and 2009, with deadweight tonnage ranging from 20,000 to 37,000 dwt.
  • Stolt Tank Containers took delivery of 900 newbuildings during the year.
  • Shareholders approved a plan to migrate the location of the Company—now known as Stolt-Nielsen Limited—to Bermuda, enabling shareholders to continue to benefit from a legal structure similar to that which the Company experienced as a holding company in Luxembourg, where regulations were scheduled to change.
  • Stolt-Nielsen received refunds totaling $295.8 million plus accrued interest for progress payments made on eight newbuildings that were cancelled due to delays.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Company's favour, rejecting class arbitration of certain antitrust claims brought by a purported class led by AnimalFeeds International Corporation.


  • Stolt-Nielsen celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Company.
  • Jacob Stolt-Nielsen was succeeded by Christer Olsson as Chairman, effective December 15, 2009, the date of the Company’s 50th birthday.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Gas acquired the VLGC Althea Gas and entered in to a three-year time charter of the VLGC Yuhsho, thus commencing operations as an LPG carrier.


  • Stolt Tank Containers completed its acquisition of the tank container operations of Taby Group.
  • Stolt-Nielsen entered into joint ventures with Gulf Navigation PJSC to own and operate six 44,000 dwt coated parcel tankers.
  • Stolthaven Terminals was awarded an opportunity to construct a chemical storage terminal on Jurong Island, Singapore.


  • Stolt-Nielsen won its amnesty agreement case against the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
  • Stolt-Nielsen announced its voluntary delisting from Nasdaq and termination of its ADR program.
  • Stolt-Nielsen announced the establishment of Stolt-Nielsen Gas to explore opportunities within the liquefied petroleum gas logistics industry.
  • Stolt-Nielsen announced the launch of Stolt Bitumen Services, focusing on the delivery of bitumen logistics services.


  • Stolt-Nielsen sold its 25% ownership in Marine Harvest.
  • Stolt-Nielsen sold its Southern bluefin tuna business, based in Port Lincoln, Australia to SAMS Holdings (SA) Pty.
  • Stolt-Nielsen reacquired 75% of the sturgeon and caviar business, Sterling Caviar LLC.
  • Stolt-Nielsen completed the sale of its 25% shareholding in Marine Harvest N.V. to Geveran Trading Co. Ltd. (which in turn contributed the business to Pan Fish ASA) after the approvals of the transaction from U.K. and French competition authorities.


  • Stolt-Nielsen sold its ownership in Stolt Offshore S.A.
  • Stolt Sea Farm and Nutreco Holding N.V. merged their fish farming operations into the world largest aquaculture company, Marine Harvest. Stolt-Nielsen owned 25% of Marine Harvest.


  • Stolt-Nielsen reduced its ownership in Stolt Offshore to 41.7%.


  • Stolt-Nielsen sold Optimum Logistics Ltd. to Elemica.


  • Stolt Offshore acquired Paragon Engineering Services Inc.
  • AspenTech acquired interest in Optimum Logistics.
  • PrimeSupplier merged with OneSea.com to form SeaSupplier.
  • Stolt Sea Farm acquired Eicosal in Chile.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group sold its Perth Amboy, NJ and Chicago terminals.


  • Stolt Comex Seaway is renamed Stolt Offshore.
  • Stolt-Nielsen established two independent business-to-business e-commerce enterprises:
    • Optimum Logistics Ltd. - the first Internet-based, open logistics system for bulk materials
    • and Prime Supplier Ltd. - an Internet-based total marine procurement system.
  • Stolt Sea Farm expands into tuna with the acquisition of Australian Bluefin Pty. Ltd.
  • Jacob Stolt-Nielsen retires as CEO and Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen takes over.


  • Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group established to consolidate all the transportation businesses, Stolt Parcel Tankers, Stolt Tank Containers and Stolthaven Terminals.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group acquired 50% in Jeong-II Tank Terminal, the largest chemical terminal in the South Korean petrochemical port of Ulsan/Onsan.
  • Stolt Sea Farm acquired International Aqua Foods Ltd.
  • Stolt Comex Seaway acquired ETPM S.A. and invested in flexible pipelay manufacturing with NKT.
  • On its 40th anniversary, Company is now approaching $2 billion in revenue and 10,000 employees.


  • Stolt Sea Farm expanded into Scotland with acquisition of Gaelic Seafoods (Scotland) Ltd.
  • Stolthaven Terminals expanded into Asia Pacific with investment in Dovechem Terminals Holdings Ltd.
  • Stolt Comex Seaway expanded presence in Gulf of Mexico with acquisition of Ceanic.


  • Stolt Sea Farm expanded into Asia Pacific with acquisition of Cocoon Ltd.


  • Stolt Comex Seaway initial public offering on Nasdaq raised $43 million.


  • The Company acquired and merged Stolt-Nielsen Seaway and Comex Services S.A. forming Stolt Comex Seaway.
  • The Company achieved over $1 billion in revenues.


  • The Company acquired Sea Farm and renamed it Stolt Sea Farm.


  • The Company went public on Nasdaq raising $51 million.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Inter-European Service established to provide small tanker service in Northwest Europe.
  • Sea Farm commenced a program of acquiring on-growing companies in Norway.


  • BP and the Company terminated 1977 agreement.
  • NYK Line became a more than 10% shareholder.


  • Stolt Through Transportation Services was set up to handle customers’ door-to-door transportation.


  • Sea Farm expanded into North America.


  • Stolt Tank Containers was set up after the purchase of United Tank Containers with 400 units.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Inter-Asia Service established to provide small tanker service in Southeast Asia.
  • Stolt Tankers Joint Service was set up after an agreement with PanOcean-Anco was signed to market their 11 ships.


  • The Company earned $100 million profit.


  • The Company ran into financial difficulties and BP acquired an option to become a 50% shareholder.


  • Stolt-Nielsen Seaway A/S established to provide services for offshore petroleum and exploration in the North Sea.


  • Sea Farm A/S established in Norway for production of salmon smolt.


  • The Company acquired first storage terminal.


  • Seven new double bottom, double skin, partly stainless steel ships ordered, later setting the standards for the parcel tanker market and IMO specifications.


  • Offices in New York, Japan and Oslo established. Company was operating 18 ships and still expanding its fleet with Trans-Atlantic, Trans-Pacific, Great Lakes and Latin American routes established.


  • First operating company formed, Parcel Tankers Inc., with one time-chartered ship, Stolt Avance.