Innovative over 140 years
Flensburger ship-owners, like most other German ship-owners at the time, always had their steam ships built in England, but at some point they developed the courage to think about building their own ships. The idea became reality and they founded the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft in 1872. Three years after that they delivered their first newbuilding, the "Doris Brodersen", a steel sailing ship, to one of the partners. She was followed a year later by the cargo ship "Septima".
Over the following decades we Flensburg shipbuilders have built up an outstanding reputation with our work. We have delivered nearly 750 ships to date. A wide range of ship types were developed and built in the last century, but today we concentrate on specialised vessels and on tailor-made developments - not only RoRo and RoPax sectors, however, but also naval and offshore ships and cruise liners.
Another chapter in our success was written in December 2008 when the yard was bought by new owners. Our current (and future) Managing Director Peter Sierk, along with investors from the Orlando Management AG in Munich, acquired the yard from the Oldendorff Group in Lübeck as part of a so-called management buy-out.
The new owners took-over the facility in its existing form without changing its business spectrum, making it clear that we will continue to be managed as an independent shipyard with specific expertise in the research and development sector.
Peter Sierk said at the time: "The yard is well booked with orders until into the year 2013. That is the biggest order volume in the history of the FSG and it is, primarily, our 700 employees who have made it possible. They are the backbone of our success – and that will not change." And nothing has changed. Today our yard remains, more than ever before in its almost 140 year history, dedicated to serving its customers.
From the very beginning, the development of the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft has been closely linked to economic and political circumstances and this has been reflected in personnel development.
World economic crises, war, and just ‘normal’ shipyard troubles have all had an effect on the number of employees. Over the 140 year history of our yard, the number of employees has fluctuated from just a few dozen to more than 2,600.
Following the creation of the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, the number of employees rose to its highest point in 1903 with 2,614.
That was followed by a steep decline. Up to the Great Depression at the start of the 1930s the personnel total declined to about 60 – its lowest level ever up to that point – before rising gradually year for year after that. In the 1950s it had risen again to about 2,500 employees. From that point on, however, and because of constantly rising automation and changes in production processes, ever fewer workers were required to build ships.
In recent years, the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft has provided good jobs between 600 and 700 people.
Quite apart from employment totals, however, one trend has become apparent over the last 60 years. The number of white-collar personnel, particularly designers and engineers, continues to rise in relation to blue-collar workers. In 1951 only 7.5% of those working at FSG were white-collar employees. This has risen constantly over the years, as deliveries have also increased, to nearly 30% in 2011, and it continues to rise.
We like to celebrate. Most of all with you
We develop and build our ships jointly with and for our customers. The most important thing for us is the best possible product and a satisfied customer.
And where ships are built there are always people: yard employees, ship-owner’s construction supervisors and people from the shipping company itself as well as its customers. So, as well as the technical, planning and commercial demands of a complex project, the relationships among the people involved is also of great significance for us.
It is a long tradition at our yard to invite customers to the big milestone events in the creation of their ships and to experience with us the first steel cut, keel-laying, launch and delivery. In addition, a naming ceremony or launch often gives our customers a welcome platform to introduce their potential charterers to the new vessel and convince them of the quality and reliability of FSG ships.
The FSG family grows bigger with every ship we build. We take time out to celebrate these events with our partners.