By the early 1970s, world shipping was in a period of significant transformation. The closure of the Suez Canal in 1967 and the ever increasing pace of industrial activity and attendant energy needs of Western Europe, America and Japan gave rise to substantial ordering of very large crude carriers and of other types of large, specialised and sophisticated vessels. Hellespont viewed this possibility as a logical way to embark upon its own shipbuilding programme. Faithful to its precept at the time of ordering or buying vessels only against long-term employment and capitalising on its experience in structuring financing against bareboat or time charter contracts Hellespont kept stride with the growth and specialisation of ocean shipping during the 1970s and responded to the challenge with a thoughtful but energetic expansion programme that, by the mid-1980’s, culminated in a sizeable, well-diversified and remuneratively employed fleet.