Five Stars group has been into shipping since 1890, earlier as ship builders and ship repair company namely “H. H. Dhunjibhoy & Co.” from 1890-1948 and then as shipowners in the name of “South East Asia Shipping Co. Ltd.” from 1948-1981. With the onslaught of containerization this liner Shipping Co. and it’s related agency division was closed in 1981. The staff from the owning department was transferred to a ship management company called Five Stars Shipping Co. Pvt. Ltd. This company has in the past technically managed ships for Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd, Swires Group, Canadian Steam Ship Lines, Apeejay Shipping, Scindia Steamship Navigation Ltd. (for liquidators) and various others. Currently it manages the fleets of Five Stars Bulk Carriers Ltd. and SKS Transnational Pte Ltd.
In 2005 when one of the ships under their management was damaged in the Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal and the original sellers decided to sell the vessel, the group decided to venture into ship owning by acquiring this vessel. Thus with a major financial partner and an equity of 12 million usd the group started Five Stars Bulk Carriers Ltd. The current fleet is 4 bulk carriers totaling 398,434 metric tonnes
deadweight with sizes ranging from bottoms of 75,592 metric tonnes deadweight to 170,000 metric tonnes deadweight. The company has a rating of A - by Crisil which is an Indian rating agency accepted globally.
Though the group was very well versed with liner operations, they lacked the sophistication in the tramper trades and initially were forced to buy vessels with back to back charters. The group found that there was no service provider in the region, with an aptitude to not only provide commercial management solutions but also to provide consultancy on strategy for the tramper trades. Seeing a need for quality consultants and commercial management in India the group started its own commercial management arm called Five Stars Chartering Pvt. Ltd. in mid 2006. This company initially started out marketing and providing strategy solely for the group and has been extremely successful. Under its advice Five Stars Bulk Carriers Ltd. grew at a tremendous pace and had one of the highest percentage EBITDA margins globally amongst most of the stock listed company in 2008 which incidentally also saw the historic peak of the dry bulk market. Post the financial meltdown where most other companies saw major downturns, Five Stars Bulk Carriers Ltd. actually saw an increase of turnover by over 50 percent as compared to the boom period.