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Industry Liner Shipping
Genre Shipping line
Founded 1847
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Area served
Key people
Rolf Habben Jansen (CEO), Nicolás Burr (CFO), Anthony James Firmin (COO)
Owner Albert Ballin Consortium (78%) and TUI AG (22%)
Number of employees
10, 949
Parent Albert Ballin Consortium (78%) and TUI AG (22%)

Hapag-Lloyd is a German transportation company comprising a cargo container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd AG, which in turn owned other subsidiaries such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises which is today integrated into TUI AG, Hanover. It was formed in 1970 as a merger of two 19th century companies, Hapag, which dated from 1847, and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) or North German Lloyd (NGL), which was formed in 1856. Hapag-Lloyd was acquired in 1998 by TUI AG (Hanover) and became its fully owned subsidiary in 2002. In 2009, TUI sold a majority stake to a group of private investors and the City of Hamburg, the so-called Albert Ballin Consortium. The main founders of Hapag and Lloyd in the 19th century were Berenberg Bank, Fritz Albert Haas, and H. J. Merck & Co.. In February 2012 the German company TUI sold more shares of the German owned company Hapag-Lloyd to the City of Hamburg which is the largest share holder with approx. 37% followed by Kuehne Maritime with 28% and TUI AG with 22%. The other shareholders are Hamburg based banks and insurances.

In 2013 Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV started merger talks which ended in Hapag-Lloyd taking over the container business of CSAV in December 2014. In exchange for contributing its container business CSAV received 30% of the shares in the enlarged Hapag-Lloyd company. After a capital increase by CSAV and Kühne Maritime in December 2014 the actual owners of Hapag-Lloyd are CSAV (34%), the City of Hamburg (23.2%), Kühne Maritime (20.8%), TUI (13.9%), Signal Iduna (3.3%), HSH Nordbank (1.8%), an investor pool led by the Hamburg based private bank M.M.Warburg & CO (1.8%) and HanseMerkur (1.1%). The integration of the CSAV container business into Hapag-Lloyd was concluded in 2015 making Hapag-Lloyd one of the market leaders in the Latin American markets besides its already existing leading position on the North Atlantic.[1]


  • History 1
    • HAPAG 1.1
    • North German Lloyd 1.2
    • Hapag-Lloyd 1.3
      • Airline Activities 1.3.1
  • CP Ships Limited 2
  • Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ships 3
    • Former ships 3.1
    • Chartered ships 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Hapag-Lloyd was formed in 1970 through a merger of Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) and the North German Lloyd.


Headquarters of Hapag-Lloyd in Hamburg

The Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft for shipping across the Atlantic Ocean was founded in Hamburg. In 1912, Hapag built the first of their "Big Three" ocean liners; the Imperator, followed by her sister Vaterland. The third sister, Bismarck, was under construction at the outbreak of World War I and was completed after the war for White Star Line as the Majestic. These were the first liners to exceed 50,000 gross tons and 900 feet in length.

Four ex-German liners are laid up from left to right Monticello (former Kaiser Wilhelm II / USS Agamemnon ID-3004), USAT Mount Vernon (former Kronprinzessin Cecilie), USAT America (former America) and USAT George Washington laid up in 1939 in the Patuxent River off Chesapeake Bay

During World War I, the majority of Hapag's fleet of 175 ships was wiped out, and most of the surviving ships (including the "Big Three") had to be turned over to the winning side as war reparations. After war's end, Hapag rebuilt its fleet with much smaller ships than before the war, but their fleet was again mostly wiped out during World War II, with surviving ships turned over to allied powers.

North German Lloyd

The NDL liner Kaiser Wilhelm II, which made its maiden voyage in 1903
Flagships of North German Lloyd - Bremen and Europa

Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) was formed in 1856 in the City-State of Bremen, offering passenger and cargo transportation between Bremen and New York, with an emphasis on emigration to the United States. Service started in June with the Bremen, the first of three steamships, and the company established its American base at Hoboken, New Jersey. NDL eventually built a large fleet of ships that carried many thousands of emigrants westwards, with a peak of 240,000 passengers across the Atlantic in 1913 alone.[2]

The outbreak of World War I resulted in the internment of its 135 vessel fleet at Hoboken, which status was changed to confiscation when the USA entered the war in 1917. Likewise, its Hoboken base was confiscated, and turned over to the US Navy, which used it as a transshipping point for the duration.[2]

Operations were resumed in 1922, when NDL was able to purchase its former base from the United States Alien Property Administrator. NDL launched a new Bremen and Europa in 1929-1930.[2]

At the start of World War II, NDL repeated the World War I experience, with its fleet again being confiscated when the US entered the war in 1941. The lone exception was the Bremen, which raced across the Atlantic, and achieved protection at Murmansk in 1939, later moving on to her namesake city where she remained for the duration of the war.[2]

Passenger service resumed in 1954 with the MS Berlin, formerly the Swedish American Line's Gripsholm. Later two other second-hand ships, SS Bremen (formerly Pasteur) and MS Europa (formerly Swedish American Line's Kungsholm), were purchased.

Service continued as before, but it was decided that there were too many competitors in a transportation environment where the airliner was taking the most frequent customers away. This resulted in NDL’s merger with the Hamburg-America Line in 1970.

NDL attained several speed records over the years. Among them, was the record for the run between Southampton and New York of eight days in 1881, which was set by the Elbe, and held until 1900; and the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing set by the new Bremen in 1929 (see Blue Riband).[2]


Hapag-Lloyd container ship Düsseldorf Express
The Colombo Express, 8700 TEU container ship owned and operated by Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag and NGL continued to compete until establishing a joint-venture container line in 1968 in order to share the huge investments related to the containerisation of their fleets. Both companies finally merged on September 1, 1970 under the name Hapag-Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd was acquired in 1998 by TUI AG (Hanover), a tourism conglomerate, and became its fully owned subsidiary in 2002.[3] In the course of the integration into TUI AG, all tourism related activities such as the charter airline and travel agencies were transferred to TUI AG. A retrenchment from that position through an offering of a minority of Hapag-Lloyd's shares on the stock market was planned in 2004. As part of that process, its business units other than the container line and cruise line were planned for divestiture.

In 2008 TUI announced an intention to sell its entire stake in Hapag-Lloyd shipping activities before the end of that year. Industry speculation predicted a sale price of approximately $US5.9 billion.[4]

In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd acquired Chile's Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores SA (CSAV). The merger made Hapag-Lloyd the fourth-largest container-shipping company in the world.[5][6]

Airline Activities

Hapag-Lloyd founded the charter airline Hapag-Lloyd Flug in 1972, buying a few Boeing 727s to fly its cruise passengers from Germany to the cruises' ports of call. The airline eventually added some regular passenger flights as well. Hapag-Lloyd Flug used the IATA code HF and became a directly owned subsidiary of TUI AG in 1999.

In 2002 TUI AG initiated Hapag-Lloyd Express (HLX), a low-fare, high-frequency airline. However this eponymous company was never owned by Hapag-Lloyd.

Since their merger in July 2007 both airlines trade as TUIfly and use the IATA code X3.

CP Ships Limited

On 21 August 2005, TUI AG agreed to acquire the Canadian business CP Ships Limited for 1.7 billion (US$2.0 billion) in cash. The deal which was approved by the boards of both CP Ships, TUI, and the Shareholders has been successful. It has now made the combined fleet the fifth largest by capacity in the worldwide container shipping market.[7] In 2006 the CP Ships name disappeared for good.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ships

Former ships

Chartered ships


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Kenneth T. Jackson (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. The New York Historical Society; Yale University Press. p. 854. 
  3. ^ "Hapag-Lloyd CEO: reduction in operational costs needed", Arabian Supply Chain, 30 March 2015. Accessed 23 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Hapag-Lloyd sales rise as Tui confirms shipping exit plans". Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News (Informa Australia). 2008-08-15. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  5. ^ "Regulators clear way for merger of Hapag-Lloyd and Vapores".  
  6. ^ "Approval for World's Fourth Largest Container Shipping Line Granted" Handy Shipping Guide, 2 December 2014. Accessed: 12 December 2014
  7. ^ [2]

External links

  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
  • TUI AG (Hanover)
  • Provisioning a Transatlantic Liner 1901 Norddeutscher Lloyd S.S. Deutschland
  • List of NDL ships with pictures
  • Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen / North German Lloyd Passenger Lists
  • - Hapag-Lloyd Container Line - General Information and Services
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