Already the father and grandfather of the present captain and ship owner Rudolf Schepers (born 1957) practised the occupation of an ocean shipper. While already Rudolf Schepers (born 1875) owned the punt Haren 76, the tugboat “THEKLA” and the motor sailors “RUDOLF”, “THEA” and “HANS” Rudolf Schepers (born 1915) ordered for construction the motor coasters “Rudolf Schepers”, “Johann Schepers” as well as the riverboat “Thekla Schepers”.
Based on this tradition it was perfectly natural that also his son would turn to the nautic trade.
Captain Rudolf Schepers learned his nautical occupation from the ground up, starting at the age of 15 in the shipping profession. Following a three-year apprenticeship as a ship’s mechanic
on vessels owned by his family, he received his Captain’s certification in 1979 from the nautical navigation school in Leer, Germany. Afterwards he captained various ships owned by the
family, giving him a corresponding insight into the supervision of modern coaster tonnage, which simultaneously proved to be good preparation for the tasks facing him in the future.
Captain Rudolf Schepers took the leap into self-employment in 1989. He left his position at Thekla Schepers KG and founded Rudolf Schepers KG, making him an independent shipping company owner.
In 1990, he purchased a newly built ship from the Detlef Hegemann shipyard which was named “Christopher”. This multi-purpose freighter has a load capacity of 2,800 tdw and is frequently used for heavy-goods transports as project cargo for Euroship from Svendborg, Denmark.
In 1993, Capt. Rudolf Schepers purchased the second-hand coaster “NAVARO” from Capt. Hubert Schepers, renamed it the “SVENBORG”. The ship was resold in 1996 to help facilitate the
planned purchase of the container freighter “BORUSSIA DORTMUND”.
The transfer and nameing of the new ship was the source of great media interest for the tradition-steeped Hamburg shipyard J. J. Sietas. The Captain’s son, 10 years old at the time, had the last-minute idea not to name the ship “RUDOLF” as planned, but instead to name it after his favourite football team. Accordingly, the ship was painted in the team colours, with the sides in black and the rest in sulphur-yellow.
The Sibum family can look back on a long tradition in Haren's shipping history. As far back as the 19th century, they played a role in the “Harener Pünten - und Schiffbau”.
For centuries, the “Harener Emspünten” had been built on the shipyards of the Sibum family.
Same as Johann Bernhardt Sibum who had already built a new house with restaurant on the corner of Hafenstrasse / Emsstrasse, as well as the son Gerhard a well-known shipyard owner family.
The brothers Stefan and Hermann Sibum built in 1953 a new economic pillar for the family. They founded a shipping company. At the same time, the move away from shipbuilding and towards coastal shipping took place. For the economic success of the family, this decision was a landmark step.
The first ship was bought in early 1953.
This was followed by many purchases and sales and new buildings until 1995, followed by the generational change in the same year.