BigLift Shipping is a heavy lift sea-transportation company that currently operates a fleet of thirteen ships. The largest is the Happy Buccaneer with a combined lifting capacity of 1400 tons, than the HappyR-type with 800 tons, the Tra-type with 550 tons and the Da-type with 500 tons.

The company is roughly divided into two departments, a commercial and an operational department. The head office is based in Amsterdam and 12 other commercial offices are located around the world with local agents. In the head office they take care of all orders and bookings that are inquired all over the world. The operational department checks the inquiries for stowage possibilities, loading requirements, stability and deck strength. Many different companies inquire BigLift to transport a vast range of cargo. Large transformers, steam turbines for the energy industry, reactors up to 60 meters long for the petrochemical industry, pier-sections and floating cargo like ferries and navy ships are a few examples of the different types of transported cargo.


The heavy lift market originated in the 1950s when the German company Hansa started to transport train carriages and locomotives. They were the first company that used cranes to lift cargo onboard a ship instead of towing the cargo on a barge to its destination. Mr. van der Laan founded the first Dutch company “Van der Laan Scheepvaarten Handels Maatschappij” in the market in 1955. Its first ship had a crane onboard with a lifting capacity of 60 tons. Van der Laan was the first to introduce the roll on, roll off method to transport cargo based on the American army landing vessels. This type of transport made it able to transport much heavier cargos. In 1972 Van der Laans company merged with the cargo branch of the Holland America Line (HAL) and with Van Twist, a company specialized in heavy land transport. With this merger the new company “BigLift” arose under the management of the HAL.

After cutting back on investments a few years later the HAL sold the ships of their company BigLift to Mammoet (Antvelink, Dijkhuizen & Wijnolst, 1993). Mammoet operated a land and sea transportation division, of which the Spliethoff Group bought a large part of shares in 1995. In 2001 the Van Seumeren Group bought the land division and the Spliethoff Group the sea transportation division. This was the start of the company currently known as BigLift Shipping.[1]


  • Happy Buccaneer (1984)[2]
  • Happy Star (2014)[3]


  1. Asia Pacific Shipping. 1. Baird Publications. 2000. p. 12. 
  2. Choo, Yoo Sang; Edelson, David N. (2008). Marine Operations Specialty Symposium. Research Publishing Services. p. 11. ISBN 9810802269. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  3. BigLift Shipping welcomes Happy Star heavy-lift vessel. Offshore magazine (10/28/2014). Retrieved on 9 October 2015.

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