How it all started.
Back in the old days Johannes Håkans, a farmer from Strandas, established a small steam sawmill in 1896. The production was modest in the beginning, and consisted mostly of sawn timber for house building purposes. The mill burnt down in 1897, believed to have been target of an arsonist.
The remainder of the burnt sawmill and the property were sold, and Johannes emigrated for a few years to USA. During his migration, the steam sawmill was put into operation and expanded to incorporate a forage mill and a planing mill. The mill was purchased back by Johannes in 1905.
In 1910, the company was registered as a LIMITED Company. The first tugs, Leo and Tor, were purchased during 1910-1915. These steam tugs were used for shipping timber to the own mill.
In the 1920’s, Johannes Håkans’ son Alfons Håkans was engaged in the family business. More tugs and pontoons were purchased, among them Kraft and Hurtig (built 1920-21) to name a few. Many of the old names are still in use on the modern tugs. The 20´s also brought hardship.
Hard times in the 1920’s involved two devastating fires at the sawmill, and on top of that, the world economical crisis 1929-1932. In 1929, the greek 10.000 tdw steamship Diamantis was succesfully salved off the rocks of Norrskär island, outside the port of Vasa. Alfons worked as a diver during this salvage.
In 1934, the company experienced a change in ownership, and Alfons Håkans became the Managing Director. In 1936, the company turned the set-back and production increased steadily, even through World War II. Operating tugs continued in conjunction with the sawmill.
In 1945, Alfons Håkans established a company under his own name. The first tug within the new company was Fakir. In 1956 the tug Fart was purchased from the town of Vasa. T/B Fart was refit with diesel power in 1960.
As from 1945, upto 1960, Alfons Håkans is engaged in more than 30 salvages. Among them, most spoken of, Gustaf Eriksons´ M/V Bergö and Henry Nielsens´ M/V Panu. The company moves its entire operation and headquarters to Turku in 1961. Alfons Håkans Ltd gets to be known as a reliable company, and business thrives.
In 1974, Stefan Håkans participate in the family business, and introduces T/B Simson to the market. T/B Simson is lost off Utö island in 1978, and insurance compensation coveres the down payment on T/B Kraft (ex Kone)
T/B Kraft elevated the profile of the company, within the forest product and barge operations industry.Offshore towages became a daily operation. T/B´s Hurtig, Triton, Fram and Fakir was purchased in the 80´s.
The privatisation of the ice-breaking services commenced in 1985. The operation of T/B Iso-Pukki is transferred from the town of Turku to the company. The privatisation was completed in 1989, with the exception of Kemi and Oulu ports.
In 1988, Alfons Håkans purchases EFFOA owned Hangon Hinaus Ltd. During the same year, an additional 4 tugs are bought from a bank, handling a bankrupt company´s assets.
The same year, Alfons Håkans Ltd establishes a subsidiary company. The new company, Finntugs Ltd, is based in Kotka, and established in conjunction with Mr. A. Murto and the towns of Kotka and Hamina.
The company expanded threefold in a matter of a year. The ownership is restructured. Stefan Håkans and his family owns Alfons Håkans Ltd to its entirety.
In 1991, Alfons Håkans Ltd purchases S&H Satamahinaus Ltd, based in Helsinki. The purchase included T/B´s Harald and Hamlet.
During 1991-92, the operations of the company was restructured. The T/B´s Herakles and Hermes were refitted to become pushers. Charter contracts where established with Rautaruukki Ltd and Finncarriers Ltd.
In 1996, Alfons Håkans Ltd expanded its operation to the offshore market. An medium sized anchorhandling tug Zeus was built and introduced. The AHT Zeus is engaged in offshore operations in the south sector of the North Sea.
In the late 90´s, Alfons Håkans Ltd expanded even more, through additional purchases. Purchases involved the pusher Mercurius and Suomen Merisukellus Ltd (including their 5 tugboats).
Alfons Håkans is still operating as a pure family business, with Stefan Håkans at the wheel ” We take pride in providing reliable service to our customers”.
Today our fleet consists of more than 30 modern tugs today, and we also manage a variety of barges” The fleet reflects our solid position as one of the foremost towage and salvage companies in the Baltic”.
Companies where Alfons Håkans Ltd is the principal shareholder are Finntugs Ltd based in Kotka and Suomen Merisukellus Ltd based in Rauma.