HISTORY OF S.T.L. SHIP & TRADE MANAGEMENT LTD GENEVA
This company was founded on 25.06.1981 as part of the cement trading company SEAPAKO SA in Geneva, belonging to the family of Attila Paulovits, a naturalized Swiss of Hungarian origin, working a long time in the cement trading business.
The company was trading mainly with bagged cement. The cement was purchased from Constanta, Romania, but also from other Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea ports, as well as from Rostock, GDR (the former East Germany) and delivered to Egypt and the Middle East countries, like Yemen and Oman. Another regular port served was Port Sudan in the Red Sea. Over a million tonnes of cement were shipped out of Constanta per year.
The first vessel, the BELLE P was purchased in 1981 and the last ship the DIAM was taken over on 01.11.1982. Except for the CEMENT AP these were all older, conventionally built tweendeck general cargo ships. The crews were all from the Philippines.
Beside the own vessels, a large number of chartered in vessels were carrying company cargoes, but also other cargoes were carried and the fleet traded to all parts of the world. Sometimes as many as 10 to 12 ships were chartered at the time.
An operations office, called Interfreight Shipping Management Ltd. was maintained in Tunbridge Wells, a small town in the south of London and near Gatwick airport. Chartering and technical matters were handled by the Geneva office.
Unfortunately in late 1983 the company ran into financial difficulties and all the vessels were sold for demolition, which took until February 1984, when the last vessel was scrapped. The company was closed down in early 1984 and the trading assets were taken over by a company belonging to the ABB-group and engaged mainly in barter trade.
The ore carrier CEMENT AP was purchased with the intention to convert it into a floating cement storage/silo and bagging plant. The idea was to send the vessel into a main trading port and to moor it permanently alongside a pier. Once or twice per month, another vessel would have brought cement in bulk and discharged it into the storage vessel. Then the cement would have been bagged and discharged onto trucks on a daily base for distribution to the various customers in the region. However, this project ended in its planning phase and was abandoned, when the company closed down.