Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Long Established Shipping Group Celebrates a Major Milestone with Exhibition

No Such Thing as Containers When German Line Began Operating
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – This month container shipping line Hamburg Süd will be almost literally 'pushing the boat out' as part of the company's 150th birthday celebrations as a suitably decorated 40 foot box fronts the 150th anniversary exhibition at the Hamburg International Maritime Museum.

The well-travelled box is part of celebrations showing of artefacts from the company’s long history which began on 4 November 1871 when the Hamburg-Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft, or Hamburg Süd, for short, was founded by an original group of shareholders made up of a dozen Hamburg based and English merchants and a Hamburg based bank.

The aim was to establish reliable shipping connections between Hamburg and Brazil and the Rio Plata region (Buenos Aires, Uruguay). This trade lane is still one of Hamburg Süd’s main routes today but the company, bought by Maersk Line in 2017, has expanded its portfolio considerably since those early days to include North America and Oceania, plus adding logistics to its services.

Temperature controlled freight has naturally always played a major part in the company’s development, considering its geographical coverage and this features prominently as we described a couple of weeks ago. So the latest facet of this special exhibition will open on 4 November and remain on display for 10 months. After that, the exhibition will travel to locations in Argentina and Brazil that have played key roles in the history of Hamburg Süd.

The exhibition is sponsored by the company Dr. August Oetker KG, the long-standing former owner of Hamburg Süd, and current CEO, Poul Hestbaek is clearly satisfied with the company’s continuing modern role at the forefront of the trades it covers, saying:

“Our employees can be proud of this anniversary, as they have made the company what it is today: a market leader when it comes to reliability, customer proximity and service quality. Not least thanks to our affiliation with Maersk, we are very well positioned in terms of the major issues of the future. The most important of these are digitalisation, decarbonising the shipping industry, and diversifying the range of products we offer to our customers along the entire logistics chain.

“We are currently working on many new offerings that will greatly benefit our customers. In selected countries, this already includes air freight services for very time-sensitive shipments. In addition to this diversified product portfolio, Hamburg Süd’s unique selling points will continue to be its long-standing and trust-filled relationships with its customers as well as our personal and always locally anchored service.”

The exhibition will include such as the original memorandum of association from 1871 whilst, as another part of the anniversary celebrations, Koehler Verlag is publishing an in-depth history of the company in book form titled ‘Hamburg Süd – 150 Years on the World’s Oceans’.

Photo: It took the Hamburg-based artist Jeannine Platz four days to transform one of Hamburg Süd’s red 40-foot containers into the large artwork. What’s more, she painted the picture of the Port of Hamburg using only her hands, after which the box toured the world for a year and a half before returning for the exhibition.