Eleven Hamburg-based merchants, shipowners and bankers found the Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft on 4 November 1871. A monthly service is immediately launched to Brazil and extended to La Plata a few months later. The “Santos” was one of the first three ships to be deployed on the route between Hamburg and Brazil in 1871.
On 4 November at 11.30am, it will be exactly 150 years since 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, and the Hamburg-based company ranks among the market leaders in container logistics and shipping in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as between North and South American ports and on trade routes to and from Oceania (Australia/New Zealand).
As a specialist for these North-South routes and the refrigerated cargo (e. g. fruit and meat) that is transported there in particularly large quantities, Hamburg Süd today belongs to A.P. Moller – Maersk, the world market leader.
“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,” says Poul Hestbaek, CEO of Hamburg Süd. “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.”
Today, as a strong brand in the Maersk family, Hamburg Süd offers its customers access to the world’s largest vessel and container fleets as well as to the most extensive network of global connections. Thanks to additional services – such as customs clearance, warehousing, cold chain logistics and inland transports – Hamburg Süd can now offer its customers integrated solutions along the entire logistics chain. “We are currently working on many new offerings that will greatly benefit our customers,” Mr. Hestbaek adds. 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,” he emphasises.
To mark the anniversary, Hamburg’s International Maritime Museum is hosting a special exhibition on the history of Hamburg Süd, which was designed in cooperation with the company. Among the objects on display will be the original memorandum of association from 1871. As another part of the anniversary celebrations, the Koehler Verlag is publishing an in-depth history of the company in book form titled “Hamburg Süd – 150 Years on the World’s Oceans”. The 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.
Also starting at the beginning of November, a 40-foot Hamburg Süd container painted by the Hamburg artist Jeannine Platz will be on display on Dar es Salaam Square in front of the museum. In the spring of 2020, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the container-turned-artwork was sent on a one-and-a-half-year voyage around the world on board various ships to mark the approaching anniversary – as a symbol of global solidarity in times of closed borders.