BigLift Shipping celebrates golden jubilee

17 October 2023

This year marks BigLift Shipping's 50th anniversary. In the half century of its existence, BigLift Shipping has carried out countless challenging shipments and developed into one of the world’s leaders in heavy cargo transport by sea.

The company began in 1973 as Mammoet Shipping, part of Mammoet Transport. After its acquisition by Spliethoff in 2001, the name was changed to BigLift Shipping. At the time of acquisition, a combined fleet, consisting of  multipurpose and heavy lift vessels, was created to transport breakbulk cargoes, heavy lift cargoes, project cargoes and yachts. This provided significant synergy within the Spliethoff Group.

Soon after its foundation, Mammoet Shipping achieved an important position in heavy lift shipping. The first vessel, the unique MV Pioneer was a equipped with a 250 mt derrick and a loading ramp at the stern, allowing cargoes up to 800 mt to be rolled on and off. More vessels were to follow the Happy Pioneer, each of which proudly displayed the company’s distinctive yellow colour. 

The most extraordinary vessel in BigLift's history is the MV Happy Buccaneer. This "grand old lady" of the fleet was already groundbreaking upon her delivery in 1984. She was the first heavy lift vessel to feature two specially developed Huisman heavy lift mast cranes with a combined lifting capacity of 1,100 mt. Still going strong today, after 39 years of faithful service, and with challenging projects still on her books, Happy Buccaneer can justifiably be called one of the most successful heavy lift vessels of all time.

In 1984, the company's entrepreneurial vision led to the establishment of the first heavy lift pool with reputable partners. The pool operated a fleet of 16 heavy lift vessels. From this point onwards, it was impossible to imagine the world of heavy lift shipping without the company.

The company’s innovative culture, with safety at its core, has made BigLift a frontrunner in its market for 50 years. Together with its dedicated employees and crews, BigLift retains the spirit of entrepreneurship that has been in its DNA since its founding. Today, BigLift continues to push the boundaries of heavy lift shipping.

A recent highlight was the Happy Sky’s shipment of a 1,600 mt Gusto/NOV leg crane for Cadeler from Korea to the Netherlands.

BigLift operates a modern fleet of module carriers and heavy cargo vessels, with maximum lifting capacity of 2,200 mt, almost ten times higher than the Happy Pioneer.

The company faces the future with confidence and looks forward to building on its strong position in the market and taking on many wonderful challenges with its customers and other partners in the decades to come.

Click HERE to watch our jubilee video!

Source: BigLift