Stena Line celebrates 60th anniversary


Six decades of ambition and commitment have made Stena Line a global leader in ferry shipping, writes Clodagh Dooley

Leading ferry company Stena Line celebrates its 60th anniversary today, September 28th, having established itself as a trusted link between people, places and societies. 

Sten A. Olsson, the founder of Stena Line, began operating a shipping service from his hometown Gothenburg in Sweden to Skagen in Denmark in 1962, where he was a scrap merchant for 20 years. Where others saw waste, he saw business opportunities, as he needed the means to transport scrap metal, helping to lay the foundations for what would become one of the most iconic brands in Sweden.

In 1967, after establishing routes to Skagen and later Frederikshavn, Stena Line opened a direct route from West Sweden with its route to Kiel, Germany. Through strategic purchases and acquisitions, Stena Line in the 80s and 90s, now under the management of Sten’s son, Dan Sten Olsson, established its first routes from the Netherlands to the UK and from the UK to Ireland, where it still dominates in the Irish Sea market. 

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Following the fall of the iron curtain, Stena Line introduced the new Karlskrona – Gdynia route in 1995, which laid the foundations for what is now one of Stena Line’s busiest regions.

Stena Line transports six million passengers and several million tonnes of freight units per year on 38 ships, operating 18 routes across a European-wide network spanning from the west of Ireland to Latvia. Three principles have always determined the course of the company: the ambition to grow, the ability to adapt, and a never-ending curiosity that inspires new innovations.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line, says, “At Stena Line, we never forget our heritage. Sten A. Olsson was a real entrepreneur, and it was his ambition, flexibility and everlasting curiosity that shaped our DNA. 

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“Over the six decades that have passed since he opened his first shipping service, we have continued to challenge existing ideas and models within our business. This is what has enabled us to develop into a leading ferry operator. 

“We are now eagerly looking forward to taking the next steps in our future, with further expansion and sustainable innovations.”

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Clodagh Dooley

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