June 14 - The Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company (Chipolbrok), which celebrates its 65th anniversary tomorrow, says that, in spite of the "ongoing shipping crisis since 2008, the latest mergers, cooperations and startups", the company has dealt w

Chipolbrok was established in Beijing in 1951 by the governments of China and Poland and was the first 50-50 joint venture between China and a foreign country. Today, it remains an equal partnership with key positions manned by both Chinese and Polish officers.

Now in its 65th year of service, Chipolbrok took delivery of two new vessels earlier this year  - Chipolbrok Pacific and Nowowiejski - which will be followed by the delivery of Chipolbrok Atlantic and Paderewski from Shanghai Shipyard later this year.

Chipolbrok claims that the commissioning of these new types of ship opens the door to a new innovative generation of heavy lift vessels. The 31,600 dwt ships are equipped with cranes offering lifting capacities of up to 700 tonnes. They feature 41,400 cu m of under deck space, a flush weather deck measuring 135 m long, five hatches and three holds, measuring up to 50.6 m long.

The company says that these newbuildings reflect the development of Chipolbrok during its 65 years, as well as its efforts to adapt to market requirements and to provide shippers and charterers with modern tonnage in a constantly changing and demanding environment.

Looking back, Chipolbrok began life with the operation of the multipurpose vessel Pulaski on the trade between China and Poland, Chipolbrok has since grown into a global carrier deploying 19 multipurpose heavy lift vessels around the world.

After focusing on the trade between China and the so-called Comecon countries (Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania), the company's directors decided to branch out into the western hemisphere.

This decision was followed by an order for Chipolbrok's Rijeka-type vessels in the early nineties, which were built in Croatia and designed for the carriage of cargoes between Europe and China. The ships were geared and featured triple decks with long twin hatches.

With the introduction of these ships, the frequency of the Europe-China service was increased from monthly sailings to three sailings a month. During the nineties, Chipolbrok expanded its liner trades between China and the USA, as well as between the Far East, USA and Europe. The company also began to call regularly at ports in the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.

Ten new Orkan-type ships, supplied between 2003 and 2011, exceeded all vessels previously employed in the fleet, in size, capacity and efficiency, with deadweights of over 30,000 tonnes; lifting capacities of up to 640 tonnes; wide hatches measuring up to 31.6 m long; deck space of 2,000 sq m; and service speeds of 19 knots.

The addition of the new ships meant that Chiplobrok's older tonnage could be gradually replaced for employment in other trades, or recycling, explained a company spokesperson.

One of Chipolbrok's new vessels, Nowowiejski.