USTC – a success story


The story of A/S United Shipping & Trading Company (USTC) dates right back to 1876, when Julius Mortensen Shipping was founded in Fredericia, Denmark. Almost 100 years later – in 1974 – the company acquired the local shipbroker H. Sommer in Middelfart.


In 1978, the current owner of USTC, Torben Østergaard-Nielsen, was appointed new managing director of H. Sommer’s Eftf. Shipping ApS and extended the company’s business area to include bunker trading – an area that changed rapidly from being a locally-based activity to an international business in its own right.

In 1980, Torben Østergaard-Nielsen embarked on a process in which bunker activities were to be split off into independent companies – the first became a reality in 1981. The process has continued ever since, and today the 39 autonomous bunker companies around the world are the backbone of the Bunker Holding Group – the largest company in USTC.


But USTC is more, much more, than bunkering. Uni-Tankers, a ship-owning company founded in 1989 and since 1995 operating in its current form, is among the group's other business units. So is (today SDK) which in 2005 became the new name for the group’s shipping / logistics unit although its roots go back as far as 1876. USTC also deals in hedging solutions for fuel price risk through its subsidiary Global Risk Management, founded in 2004. Lastly, the newest branch to spring from the tree is Outforce (today Unit IT), a natural development of USTC’s in-house IT department.


In 2013, USTC moved to its present head office – a fully restored turbine hall in Middelfart with almost 100 years under its belt – here the pioneering spirit that spawned the company more than 30 years ago is still a very active force.