Jebsens was first organized by Kristian Jebsen under the banner of Kristian Jebsens Rederi AS (KJR) in Bergen, 1929. Operations began with its first two 2,500 dwt newbuildings. One of them, MV Vigsnes, pictured on the right. The company grew steadily through the 1930s, emerging from the Second World War as a small shipping company with majority interest in small bulk carriers and medium-sized tankers. In the 1950s, KJR expanded its fleet with 15,000 to 22,000 tonners, the handy-size bulk carriers of that time.
When Atle Jebsen, became President of the company in 1967, KJR sold its tankers. From then on, the business focused on operating bulk carriers through long-lasting contracts with commercial partners. In the past two decades, its niche market is served by specialized self-discharging vessels known as the Beltships which has a proven efficiency in short sea trading. Jebsens is a shipping industry pioneer in developing joint ventures both with customers, with other shipping companies and developing markets. This philosophy, initiated by its founder, has continued with success. The Group grew to become a major player in the Norwegian and international shipping scene, with a strong focus in the Far East. It has held a long strategic joint venture, the AboJeb Group in the Philippines, which has become a major technical and crew management service provider in the region (formerly the Aboitiz Jebsen Group).
With Bjørn Jebsen as the new Chairman from 2009, the Group has over 220 on-shore personnel plus over 8,000 seafarers in its pool. It has a global network of offices and representatives in 7 countries with an integrated transport service portfolio – ranging from ship owning, shipping, technical management, crewing and training, to storage and distribution.