Cover photo for Karin Orsel: Self-made shipowner through 20 years!

Karin Orsel: Self-made shipowner through 20 years!

“There is a very bright and knowledgeable group of young women … and they really make a change,” Orsel said. Read the article from TradeWinds here.

Karin Orsel, Founder & CEO of MF SHIPPING GROUP - Co-Chairman of Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners

Karin has worked in maritime since the age of 18, and at only 23 she became a shipowner and entrepreneur, co-founding MF Shipping Group, an organisation she has lead as CEO and majority shareholder for more than 20 years. The group partly owns and manages a fleet of 55 vessels, and employs close to 1000 people. 

Karin has dedicated substantial time to support the industry, and holds a number of key roles, as Chair of ISWAN, Co-Chairman for the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners, Vice Chair of the European Community Shipowners Association, Board member of International Chamber of Shipping and BIMCO and Member of the Executive Committee of INTERTANKO.

“I have never had any specific challenges because I am a woman; thus I am embracing it and working to turn it from a negative image into a positive one.' ~ Karin Orsel, President of WISTA (in SeaTrade)

Karin is an Ambassador for WISTA International and for the TOOL Global Female Candidate Pool initiative, and has work dedicated to support equality & diversity for many years. She is a former President of WISTA International, and was instrumental in truly placing the organisation for female leaders on the global radar. Karin was awarded WISTA International Personality of the Year 2019, and WISTA Netherland emphasized Karin´s dedication to help others develop themselves, her activie contributions to make the industry more sustainable and visible - and being a source of inspiration for other women.

Karin in She of Change, by Maritime SheEO

Meet Karin 5 June for Women at the Helm

On 5 June you can meet Karin at Amazonia Tjuvholmen - the TOOL & Partner´s innovators venue for Nor-Shipping week 2023. She will take the stage alongside INTERTANKO´s Katharina Stanzel, and a new generation of female founders, including BRIM Explorer, PolarSea, Veer Group and bound4blue.

RSVP to get on the guestlist: Women at the Helm: Movers & Shakers

The way to decarbonisation is through innovation

For MF Shipping's green plans, Karin notes they analysed and improved on energy efficiencies ahead of incoming regulations such as the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI). The company also built two of the first general dry cargo vessels with dual fuel capabilities and in its next phase is looking to commission new builds powered by battery. Read the article from BIMCO here

100 Inspirational Female Founders 2023

In June 2017, Karin Orsel received an Honorary Doctor of Public Administration Degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in recognition of her significant contributions to and impact on the maritime industry through her leadership, motivation and commitment to excellence as well as her active participation in numerous national and international organizations.

In 2009, she won the prestige Dutch ‘Female Entrepreneurship Award of the Year’ for her determination to manage her business successfully, being well-focused, ambitious and capable of achieving anything she wants. In June 2016, MF Shipping Group was a joint winner of ISWAN’s International Seafarers’ Welfare Award: Shipping Company of the Year 2016.

Karin holds an impressive track-record of industry roles, and has been the first woman in several of them. In addition to her current main roles, she has been: 

  • Vice Chairman and board member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)

  • Co-chairman of the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR)

  • ​Board of Governors member of the World Maritime University (WMU)

  • ​Trustee of the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)

  • ​Member Supervisory Board Groningen Airport Eelde

  • ​Chairman MFG Seafarers fund

  • President of WISTA International 

  • ​Ambassador of ’We keep on Growing” (project with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands)

  • An investor in several, amongst others, international maritime related projects

Karin is one of the TOOL 2023 100 Inspirational Female Founders of Ocean & Energy. 

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