The Swedish shipping company AB Nordstjernan was started by Axel Johnson in 1890. The company started services to South America in 1904 and used the name
Johnson Line. Business expanded with new services to the South Pacific and in 1914 the North Pacific. There was a reduction in shipping everywhere in the
early 1920s and many ships were sold or put into storage. Trade picked up and new vessels were ordered in the later 20s and perhaps more surprisingly in
the 1930s - but returns on investment were low.
Despite a blockade in 1940, limited traffic was allowed with Swedish ports and continued throughout WW2. Later the company diversified into ship building,
and in 1948 started a service to the Far East. This service was operated jointly with Everett Orient Line and became known as the Everett Star Line.
The company built the Rio series of ships starting in 1956, and later considered building nuclear powered ships. It decided against this after problems with an
American ship called Savanna reaching the conclusion that this type of ship would not be economical.
The company went into container ships in the 60s, sold the shipyard in 1969, and in 1972 joined a consortium that became known as the Johnson Scan Star.
In 1975 the company acquired a majority shareholding in Rederi AB Fredrika and Stjärnbolagen and also Rederi AB Svea.
In 1980 the company ceased to be privately owned and was listed in the Nordics. The business transferred its focus to the construction industry and is still
operating in that area.
Lengthened to 173.7/162.4m, 10,283 GRT/12,430 DWT and converted to part containership 1969. Change of name to Zacapa and
owner to Flota Mercante Gran Centro Americana SA 1981, change of owner to Flowerpot Sg Co Ltd. Taken to Kaohsiung 20 August 1983 for breaking
by Chin Hsin Metal Industry Co.
Lengthened to 173.3/162.3m, 10,364 GRT/12,240 DWT and converted to part containership 1969. Change of name to Santos III and
owner to Red Flag SA 1983. Taken to Chittagong 10 December 1983 for breaking by Scrap Emporium.