Unit History: Denholm Ship Management
J.& J.Denholm was founded in 1866 as a Ship Agency, buying its first vessel, the schooner ’David Sinclair’ in 1873. From these beginnings grew a substantial Ship Owning Business. Reduced to just two ships when hostilities ended in 1945, the business was re-built through a number of joint venture companies for which Denholm provided ship management.
Success in marine services prompted J.& J.Denholm to withdraw capital from the ownership of tonnage and build a range of service businesses around the ship-to-shore interface. While ship owning has reduced in significance, the expertise built up in the commercial operation of ships has been developed as a third party service.
Ship agency was a prime candidate for expansion and today, operating under the name of Denholm Shipping Services, it is one of the UK ’s leading ship agency businesses, also providing a range of related services including freight forwarding, storage and distribution. In 1986 J.& J.Denholm diversified by buying a company involved in fish catching and fish processing. Since its acquisition, continued investment has made Denholm Seafoods a major UK seafoods business.
In the early 1990’s an opportunity was identified to develop an industrial services business based around fabric maintenance. By a series of acquisitions, Denholm Industrial Services has now built up a strong presence in its sector. Today the Denholm Group employs more than 1,000 people worldwide,with offices throughout the UK and in key locations overseas. Still owned by the descendants of the founder, who have built the business by consistently reinvesting profits, J.& J.Denholm’s aim is to become leader in each of the fields in which it operates.