The NOR Way of doing business: Odfjell

The NOR Way of doing business: Odfjell.

Tradewinds + (TW +) September is featuring Dan and Laurence Odfjell who are the fourth generation at the helm of the group.

Operations Camelia Dutu

 Odfjell Tankers is a leading global provider of ocean transportation with a fleet of 90 chemical tankers.


Odfjell is a global tank storage provider and one of the largest terminal operators in Rotterdam.


Toll distillation services by Odfjell in Rotterdam, this service is unique.

The Odfjell PID toll distillation plant is fully integrated with the Rotterdam storage terminal.

A tolling agreement is a common structure offered by commodity trading firms is a tolling arrangement, whereby a firm supplies a commodity processor (e.g., Odfjell) with an input (e.g., oil) and takes ownership of the processed commodity (e.g., heating oil, jet fuel, and gasoline).

The trading firm pays a fixed fee to Odfjell, pays the market price to acquire the input, and receives the market price for the refined products.

Typical processed parcel sizes are between 1,000 and 20,000 tons.

The trading firm this tolling agreement is exposed to commodity price risk while Odjell is exposed to volume risk (utilization rates).

Examples of the types of products routinely handled at Odfjell PID for traders:

Alcohols, Aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylene), Hydrocarbon solvents, Naphtha, Gasoline Components, Distillates, Condensates and C5+.

Despite not having the appearance of a trading house, Odfjell is a major trader managing a net long freight exposure with the shipping side of the business.

 The fascinating story behind the development of Odfjell.

 A courtesy of Tradewinds+ 

slide-1-1024Odfjell stands for anything liquid, even wine.slide-2-1024


“It was from my time as a broker in the US that I got the inspiration for what Odfjell has become” says Dan Odfjell.

At the age of the 21, he made lots of industry connections  and had already a keen business acumen.

The genius of Dan Odfjell was gathering the information right in time and convincing Odfjell to transfer their existing family business knowledge into an emerging niche.


Dan Odfjell understood that with the rising demand for plastics, the US Gulf was emerging as a center of gravity for chemicals and that a new liquid-trade was at its infancy in the 60’s.

Dan Odfjell had a keen interest for business and new thecnology. He knew from its father in Bergen that stainless steel was the design to build-on.

DuPont, Union Carbide and other blue-chip companies needed very good equipment, stainless steel. Until then, most chemicals had been shipped in drums.


ODFJELL  Terminals located at the entrance of the Houston ship channel, one of the
largest chemicals production and export hub in the world.

Odfjell’s move into tank terminals was another of Dan’s ideas.

He understood the trade and persuaded his family to make a risky move into tank terminals emphasizing that it would make the company’s ships more appealing to clients because of a logistical advantage.



                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bergen, Norway

Like the Hanseatic merchants who dominated Bergen for 400 years, Odfjell is today one of the most prominent business in the city.

Odfjell is combining the qualities of novelty, wisdom, knowledge and upright dealing.

On the world stage, they embody the Nor Way of doing business.


 A courtesy of Tradewinds+ 


The Economics of Commodity Trading firms, Pirrong


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