Who We Are
The origins of our Group go back to 1952 when Mr. T.Y. Chao, the father of George Chao and grandfather of our Chairman Sabrina Chao, established his shipping business in Hong Kong. Along with other independent Hong Kong shipowners, our fleet grew to meet the growing post war industrial growth in Japan. In those days our ships were pre-fixed on long term time charters primarily to Japanese charterers with financing secured on the back of the time charters. The use of time charters reduced the exposure to market volatility, and is a chartering methodology that the Group maintains to this day.
Mr. T.Y. Chao - the founder of the Group
The "Hitachi Venture"
Throughout its history, the Wah Kwong Group have always strived to offer innovative shipping solutions to their charterers by remaining at the forefront of developments in the bulkcarrier and tanker industries. In the late 1960s, the group were among the first ship owners to build the then new design of 60,000 dwt panamax bulkcarrier. In 1982 the group constructed the ‘HITACHI VENTURE’, which at the time of delivery was one of the largest bulkcarriers ever built at 263,217 dwt, and was conceived to provide the most efficient and cost effective sea transport of iron ore for a major steel producer.
The Wah Kwong Holdings Group was previously listed as part of a wider group engaged in a range of business activities including property development, food processing and manufacturing. The Group de-listed in 2000 but remained one of the most prominent privately held shipowning companies in Hong Kong, continuing to order newbuildings that were placed on timecharter to major charterers. The rise of China as a major shipbuilding nation has seen the Wah Kwong Group embark on an extensive programme of newbuildings at some of the major Chinese shipyards, placing it in its current position of having one of the youngest modern fleets in the world able to serve its customers with modern, efficient and quality ships.
A Wah Kwong newbuilding being launched in China
the Group undertook a reorganisation to separate the business of the ownership and operation of bulkcarriers and tankers under Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Limited. In 2010 the Group’s LPG interests were also incorporated into Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Limited thus consolidating all of the Group's shipowning interests under one company.