Company

History of Hamburg Süd

1871

An oil painting from Hamburg Süd’s early days. Pictured in the centre is the “Corrientes”, built in 1881, and the “Rio” (right), one of the first three ships to be purchased in 1871, the founding year.
An oil painting from Hamburg Süd’s early days. Pictured in the centre is the “Corrientes”, built in 1881, and the “Rio” (right), one of the first three ships to be purchased in 1871, the founding year.

Hamburg Südamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft is founded as a joint-stock company by representatives of eleven Hamburg merchant houses. Three steamers of barely 4,000 GRT sail to Brazil in a monthly service.

1906

The “Cap Vilano”, one of the first Hamburg Süd express steamers, in the Port of Hamburg.
The “Cap Vilano”, one of the first Hamburg Süd express steamers, in the Port of Hamburg.

The era of the fast steamer on the South America passage begins with the "Cap" steamships "Cap Vilano" and "Cap Arcona I".

1914

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The “Cap Trafalgar” is the first of the shipping group’s vessels to have three funnels.

The company has over 50 ships totalling around 325,000 GRT, among them the three large high-speed steamers "Cap Finisterre", "Cap Trafalgar" and "Cap Polonio".

1920

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The “Argentina” is Hamburg Süd’s first newbuilding after the First World War.

After the loss of the entire fleet in the First World War, reconstruction of liner shipping begins with chartered vessels.

1922

The 'Cap Polonio' starts her maiden voyage to South America in February 1922.
The "Cap Polonio" starts her maiden voyage to South America in February 1922.

With the “Cap Polonio”, the glittering era of the sea cruise begins. Hamburg Süd achieves worldwide importance in this sector in the 1920s and 1930s.

1927

The “Cap Arcona”, pictured here in Montevideo, is Hamburg Süd’s new flagship from November 1927.
The “Cap Arcona”, pictured here in Montevideo, is Hamburg Süd’s new flagship from November 1927.

The “Cap Arcona II” is put into service as the flagship of the Hamburg Süd passenger fleet. She just needs 15 days for sailing from Hamburg to Buenos Aires.

1936

Until the entry into the shipping business the company name Dr. Oetker is mainly known for the product baking powder.
Until the entry into the shipping business the company name Dr. Oetker is mainly known for the product baking powder.

The Dr. August Oetker company acquires an interest in Hamburg Süd.

1939

The “Cap Arcona”, one of the most famous Hamburg Süd ships, in Hamburg. Visible in the background are two of the shipping group’s “Monte” vessels.
The “Cap Arcona”, one of the most famous Hamburg Süd ships, in Hamburg. Visible in the background are two of the shipping group’s “Monte” vessels.

Hamburg Süd has the largest fleet in its history to date – 52 ships of more than 400,000 GRT.

1945

Hamburg Süd’s headquarters is badly damaged in the Second World War.
Hamburg Süd’s headquarters is badly damaged in the Second World War.

Second total loss of the fleet as a result of the Second World War. Ships are lost or have to be surrendered as part of reparation payments.

1951

The “Santa Ursula”, the first newbuilding after the Second World War, on her maiden voyage.
The “Santa Ursula”, the first newbuilding after the Second World War, on her maiden voyage.

Resumption of the liner service between Europe and South America East Coast.

1952

The “Blumenau” is among the first ships to be deployed for Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO) in the tramp sector.
The “Blumenau” is among the first ships to be deployed for Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO) in the tramp sector.

Hamburg Süd extended its shipping activities to the tramp area. Start of tanker shipping and expansion of the refrigerated business under the name of RAO (Rudolf A. Oetker KG).

1955

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This is what the Dr. Oetker logo looks like in the 50s.

The Dr. August Oetker company takes over the business of Hamburg Süd completely.

1956

With the takeover of Deutsche Levante Linie, its vessels pass into the ownership of Hamburg Süd, as here the “Athen”.
With the takeover of Deutsche Levante Linie, its vessels pass into the ownership of Hamburg Süd, as here the “Athen”.

Entry into the Mediterranean routes with the takeover of Deutsche Levante Linie.

1957

The general-cargo freighter “Santa Rita” operating between North and South America.
The general-cargo freighter “Santa Rita” operating between North and South America.

Liner service resumed between North America and South America under the name Columbus Line.

1963

In 1963 the “Cap San Augustin” (here in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York) made her first voyage in the service between North America and Australia/New Zealand
In 1963 the “Cap San Augustin” (here in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York) made her first voyage in the service between North America and Australia/New Zealand.

Columbus Line commences services between North America and Australia/New Zealand.

1967

The colours of Atlas Levante Linie, taken over by Hamburg Süd in 1967, can be make out on the funnel of the “Naguilan”.
The colours of Atlas Levante Linie, taken over by Hamburg Süd in 1967, can be make out on the funnel of the “Naguilan”.

Hamburg Süd takes over the Bremen-based Atlas Levante-Linie (ALL).

1971

The age of full container ships, such as the “Columbus New Zealand”, begin in the service between US East Coast and Australia/New Zealand.
The age of full container ships, such as the “Columbus New Zealand”, begin in the service between US East Coast and Australia/New Zealand.

The first full container ships – Columbus New Zealand, Columbus Australia and Columbus America – are deployed between U.S. East Coast and Australia/New Zealand, pioneering containerization in the Pacific.

1980

The “Monte Rosa” entering Hamburg.
The “Monte Rosa” entering Hamburg.

Hamburg Süd also opens full container services from Europe to South America East Coast. The containerization strides ahead.

1986

The general cargo freighter “Cap Sunion” is deployed for Hamburg Süd from 1986 to 1989.
The general cargo freighter “Cap Sunion” is deployed for Hamburg Süd from 1986 to 1989.

Takeover of Deutsche-Nah-Ost-Linie.

1989

50 percent stake in the Spanish line Ybarra y Cia. Sudamerica S.A.
50 percent stake in the Spanish line Ybarra y Cia. Sudamerica S.A.

Takeover of a 50 percent stake in the Spanish line Ybarra y Cia. Sudamerica S.A.

1990

In 1990 Hamburg Süd acquires the Furness Withy Group. However, the bulker “Furness Karumba” is deployed by Hamburg Süd from 2001 on.
In 1990 Hamburg Süd acquires the Furness Withy Group. However, the bulker “Furness Karumba” is deployed by Hamburg Süd from 2001 on.

Acquisition of the UK's Furness Withy Group, owner of, among others, the prestigious Royal Mail Line and The Pacific Steam Navigation Company (PSNC). Takeover of the Swedish Laser Lines, Rotterdam Zuid-America Lijn (RZAL) and Havenlijn.

1998 / 1999

Aliança is a subsidiary company within the shipping group since 1998. In the picture the “Aliança Europa”.
Aliança is a subsidiary company within the shipping group since 1998. In the picture the “Aliança Europa”.

Acquisition of the Brazilian shipping company Aliança and South Seas Steamship. To this day, Aliança is an independent subsidiary company of Hamburg Süd.
In 1999 follows the acquisition of South Pacific Container Lines and Transroll's Europe – South America East Coast liner operations.

2000

The “Sea Leopard” off Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
The “Sea Leopard” off Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Acquisition of the Inter-America Services of the American shipping company Crowley American Transport (CAT).

2001 / 2002

With the beginning of the new decade the new "Cap San" class vessels are put into service. They are 257 meters long and have a stowage capacity of 3,800 TEU.

The 'Cap San Augustin' in front of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
The "Cap San Augustin" in front of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

2003

The “City of Oxford” in the Mediterranean, where Hamburg Süd sustainably strengthens its market presence through the acquisition of the Ellerman services.
The “City of Oxford” in the Mediterranean, where Hamburg Süd sustainably strengthens its market presence through the acquisition of the Ellerman services.

Acquisition of the Ellerman services and takeover of the Kien Hung liner services Asia – South America in April.

2004

The “Monte Cervantes” is the first of six 5,552 TEU sister ships that is put into service in 2004 and 2005 and ranks among the vessels with the largest reefer capacity worldwide at the time.
The “Monte Cervantes” is the first of six 5,552 TEU sister ships that is put into service in 2004 and 2005 and ranks among the vessels with the largest reefer capacity worldwide at the time.

The brands Columbus Line and Crowley American Transport are replaced by the Hamburg Süd brand.

2005

The “Cabo Creus” is one of the vessels that originally belonged to the Ellerman fleet.
The “Cabo Creus” is one of the vessels that originally belonged to the Ellerman fleet.

On 1 January, the Ellerman brand is replaced by the well-known and globally important Hamburg Süd brand.

Acquisition of all the shares of Ybarra y Cía. Sudamérica S.A. (Ybarra Sud) in December.

2006

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Purchase of FANZL Fesco Australia New Zealand Liner Services and thus of cross trade activities from Fesco between Australia / New Zealand and Asia as well as North America.

The brand Ybarra y Cía. Sudamérica S.A. (Ybarra Sud) is replaced by the Hamburg Süd Iberia S.A brand in December.

2007

The “Bahia” is christened in South Korea on 31 January 2007, in a double ceremony with the “Bahia Blanca”.
The “Bahia” is christened in South Korea on 31 January 2007, in a double ceremony with the “Bahia Blanca”.

Double christening of the "Bahia" and "Bahia Blanca" in Korea in February. The two ships are the first of a total of six identical 3,752 TEU container ships.

Takeover of the liner operations of Costa Container Lines – to the Mediterranean, South America East and North Coast, Central America and the Caribbean – as from 1 December 2007.

2008

At 5,900 TEU, the “Rio de la Plata”, the first newbuilding of the “Rio” class, is the largest ship in Hamburg Süd’s history in 2008.
At 5,900 TEU, the “Rio de la Plata”, the first newbuilding of the “Rio” class, is the largest ship in Hamburg Süd’s history in 2008.

The FANZL Fesco Australia New Zealand Liner Services brand is replaced by the Hamburg Süd brand in January.

Hamburg Süd christens the largest-ever container ship in the company's history in March. The "Rio de la Plata" is the first newbuilding in a series of six identical vessels each possessing a slot capacity of 5,900 TEU. At a length of 286 metres, the "Rio" class is precisely one bay longer than the 5,552 TEU "Monte" class vessels.

2009

Before brand migration in at the start of 2009: the Costa Container Lines (CCL) vessels “Cala Portofino” and “Cala Palma” in the port of Vado Ligure.
Before brand migration in at the start of 2009: the Costa Container Lines (CCL) vessels “Cala Portofino” and “Cala Palma” in the port of Vado Ligure.

On 1 January, the Costa Container Lines (CCL) brand is replaced by the Hamburg Süd brand.

2010

And Hamburg Süd sets another in-house record: the “Santa Clara” has a capacity of 7,100 TEU and over 1,600 reefer plugs.
And Hamburg Süd sets another in-house record: the “Santa Clara” has a capacity of 7,100 TEU and over 1,600 reefer plugs.

In October 2010 the 7,100 TEU container ship “Santa Clara” was put into service at the Daewoo-Yard (DSME) in South Korea. She is the largest vessel ever to have sailed under the Hamburg Süd flag. A further nine “Santa” class vessels are due to be delivered for the shipping group by the end of 2012.

2011

Hamburg Süd celebrates its 140th anniversary.
Hamburg Süd celebrates its 140th anniversary.

Hamburg Süd celebrates its 140th anniversary – among other things with the special exhibition “140 years of Hamburg Süd” at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg.

2012

With the naming ceremony of the “Santa Barbara”, Hamburg Süd christens theWith the naming ceremony of the “Santa Barbara”, Hamburg Süd christens the last ship in a series of ten new builds in the “Santa” class. last ship in a series of ten new builds in the “Santa” class.
With the naming ceremony of the “Santa Barbara”, Hamburg Süd christens the last ship in a series of ten new builds in the “Santa” class.

With the naming ceremony of the “Santa Barbara”, Hamburg Süd christens the last ship in a series of ten new builds in the “Santa” class. Like her nine sister ships, she has a stowage capacity of 7,100 TEUs and is equipped with 1,600 reefer points.

2014

Naming ceremonies for the “Cap San Lorenzo”, the “Cap San Raphael” and the “Cap San Antonio”.
Naming ceremonies for the “Cap San Lorenzo”, the “Cap San Raphael” and the “Cap San Antonio”.

Naming ceremony for the last three ships in the new “Cap San” class with a nominal container stowage capacity of 9,600 TEU. With 2,100 reefer plugs, they also have the highest reefer capacity worldwide. Hamburg Süd enters into the routes between Asia and Northern Europe and the Western Mediterranean as well as services between Asia and North America.

2015

Hamburg Süd takes over the container liner services of Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica S.A. (CCNI).
Hamburg Süd takes over the container liner services of Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica S.A. (CCNI).

Hamburg Süd takes over the container liner services of Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica S.A. (CCNI). Liner operations are continued under the well-known brand on the main routes between South America’s West Coast and Asia, Europe and North America.

2016

The characteristic green windows dominate the aesthetics of Hamburg Süd’s office complex. In the foreground Nikolaifleet canal.
The characteristic green windows dominate the aesthetics of Hamburg Süd’s office complex. In the foreground Nikolaifleet canal.

Hamburg Süd is the world’s first container shipping line to publish its Sustainability Report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Standard Disclosures (Core).

Built in the early 1960s, the listed building complex in Willy-Brandt-Straße now stands resplendent following its extensive refurbishment. Along with a new building, it offers around 800 Hamburg Süd employees a modern workplace in line with the latest ergonomic principles.

145 years of Hamburg Süd: whereas three steamers operated on a regular service between Hamburg and South America in the founding year 1871, now the company has 177 ships in service around the globe and a workforce of approximately 6,300 employees.

In December, after more than 80 years, Dr. August Oetker KG announces plans to divest its shipping business and all related activities. Acquisition negotiations are conducted with the Danish shipping line Maersk.

2017

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Also in future the Hamburg Süd brand will be present with its unique red vessels and containers all around the world.

Since December 1, 2017, Hamburg Süd belongs to A.P. Moller - Maersk. At the same time, Hamburg Süd will remain a commercially independent company with its own brand values. The Hamburg Süd brand will continue to represent quality, reliability, and flexibility, in addition to providing a specific service offering with outstanding local expertise and personal contacts in over 250 offices worldwide.