Bibby Line Limited, of Liverpool, England, is the shipping arm of Bibby Line Group, one of the oldest, privately-owned shipping companies in the world. The parent company was established in 1807, and, currently, is involved in a wide range of maritime activities, including shipping, offshore oil field services and logistics management. The firm also has a stake in other businesses such as financial services, security consultancy services, employment law, and retail operations. The Bibby Group currently employs over 3,500 people worldwide, and had revenues of $1.25 billion in 2011.
Bibby’s shipping operations is currently focused on dry bulk and chemical shipping operations, though, historically, it used to also ship crude oil products, LPG, ore-bulk oil (OBO) products and even passengers. The company’s shipping fleet includes two Supramax-class bulk cargo carriers, one gearless general cargo vessel, and five double-hulled oil tankers designed for high-seas bunker operations. One of the Supramax vessels is brand new and went into operations in March 2012. Both of the company’s bulk cargo carries are equipped with four cranes and cargo grab equipment to facilitate loading and unloading of goods at smaller ports.
Like many other shipping companies in the United Kingdom, Bibby Line has had its share of economic ups and downs over the years, but the company has always managed to come through such periods stronger and more resilient than before. During the 1920s and 1930s, the company operated a highly successfully passenger service. During the Second World War, all of the company’s merchant and passenger vessels were requisitioned by the UK Navy and pressed into service supporting the war effort.
In September 1980, the company suffered one of its greatest losses when one of its ore-bulk oil carriers, the MV Derbyshire, was lost at sea in a typhoon with all hands on board. To date, the accident remains Britain’s worst-ever peacetime maritime disaster. Bibby Line Limited moved away from the OBO business following the loss of the vessel.
As the shipping division of a $1.25 billion company, Bibby Line Limited has strong financial backing and the resources to respond quickly to new market opportunities. Bibby Line has won several awards in recognition of its service, including the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement on three separate occasions.