December 2, 1858 start Nordre Bergenhus Amt's steamship with steamship route. This was a pioneering measure in Norwegian social history, and was taken to Fylkesbaatane in Sogn og Fjordane. Today, this company is part of Fjord1, and is the country's oldest local route team.
Fjord1 has a long history when it comes to ferry services both in Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal. In the county of long fjords and many islands, the sea and the boat rivers are the most important route to the present day.
A lot has occurred since 1858; The technology has evolved, and one has gone from steam ships to electric ferries. The industry has evolved and the company has been through a variety of periods; from free competition for ferry and boat routes, to gas ferry operations in Hordaland and Rogaland, and the establishment of Fjord1, which today is the largest in Iceland on ferry and fastboat operations.
Ferrybusiness in change
The Norwegian ferry and passenger boat market has undergone extensive consolidation in recent years. Earlier, there were a number of players in this market, but increasingly competition and challenges saw higher demands on companies. Today there are only four players in the Norwegian ferry and passenger boat market; Fjord1, Torghatten, Norled and Boreal Transport. Fjord1 is the largest ferry company, and represents one market share of 50%.
In order to be competitive in a ferry industry that is constantly changing, Fjord1 must be able to meet a range of challenges, - by expanding experience from ferry and market knowledge, high flexibility in fleet and capital strength to accommodate enough. The state requirements in the new offer have become far tougher in recent years, and competition is being spelled between the Norwegian players.
From public ownership to commercialization
In the period to the end of the 1990s there was public ownership in most companies in the industry. It was not a goal to make money, and the company was only a means for the public in the development of the transport package. There was no competition between the companies during this period.
In the late 1990s, the Storting decided to tender all ferry visitors. With this decision, the industry is made up of public works for 100% commercial businesses. Major restructuring processes had to be implemented internally within the company, and seriously difficult contracts hurt the company to make money during this period.
Subsequently, the contracts were better through "second generation contracts". From about 2000 up to today, framework conditions have been getting better. Today, the ferry company has pre-emptive terms with pre-emptive regulations. The companies compete on price and environment in the new contracts.
As Fjord1 sees, vinnarane will be the company that offers the most efficient operation in the future. We see a ferry industry that converts to green technology, and the investment needs in the industry are huge. Today, the Norwegian ferry industry is at the top of the world with a view to technology, vessels, the environment and safety - and Fjord1 will make a significant contribution to halving this position in future.
Different owners and names
Fjord1 also has a rich history when it comes to ownership and name. On May 9, 2001, the group was established under the name Nordvestlandske AS as a joint-stock company for Fylkesbaatane in Sogn og Fjordane (FSF) and Møre og Romsdal County Boats (MRF), with headquarters in Florø. Sogn and Fjordane County Municipality owned 59%, while Møre og Romsdal County Municipality owned 41%. FSF and MRF also owned several land-based transport companies; between Anna Mørebil, Nordfjord and Sunnmøre Billag, and Sogn Billag. In December 2002, the Group presented its new identity, Fjord1, and the parent company renamed Fjord1 Nordvestlandske AS.
At the beginning of 2005, a major reorganization and change of name took place on the companies in the group. FSF change name to Fjord1 Fylkesbaatane, MRF to Fjord1 MRF and Sogn Billag to Fjord1 Sogn Billag.
In 2011, Møre og Romsdal County Municipality sold its ownership in Fjord1 to Havila in Fosnavåg. In 2011 Fjord1 also acquired 34% ownership in the newly launched Nettbuss Ekspress AS, together with Nettbuss, in order to further develop companies express express investment. But even in the same year, it was decided to sell parts of bus activities to Nettbuss. From the beginning of 2012, Nettbuss acquired 51% of the shares in Fjord1 Bus Møre, Fjord1 Nordfjord-Ottadalen and Fjord1 Sogn Billag. On December 31, 2012, Nettbuss acquired the remaining shares in the companies and shareholding in Nettbuss Ekspress.
At the beginning of 2012, Fjord1 Fylkesbaatane and Fjord1 MRF merged into the parent company Fjord1 Nordvestlandske as renamed Fjord1 AS. Subsidiaries operated separately until April 23. Thus Fjord1 operates no longer as a group but as a company. In May 2013, Fjord1 entered into 34% ownership in WF Holding AS together with Torghatten ASA and Nordland County Municipality, which in September same year took over 80% of shares in Widerøes Airline Company from SAS and agreed to take over the remainder in 2016.
In November 2015, the county council in Sogn og Fjordane decided to sell its shares in Fjord1 to the competitor Torghatten ASA. This was contrary to the company's leadership, and led to the fact that the managing director and parts of the board chose to leave. The minority owner Havila could also make a decision to court. On 14 July 2016, however, the sale of Fjord1 to Torghatten ASA was terminated by the Norwegian Competition Authority.
On August 26, 2016, the county council in Sogn og Fjordane agreed to sell 26% of its stake in Fjord1 to the company Havilafjord AS at Per Sævik. The county municipality then owned 33% and Havilafjord AS 67%. On May 12, 2017, Havilafjord AS bought the remaining 33%.
15 August 2017 where Fjord1 AS was listed on the main list on Oslo Børs. As a result of being a listed company, the name is changed to Fjord1 ASA.