Hamburg-Süd sold to Maersk

Santa Teresa in RotterdamIt was announced on 1st December 2016 that the Danish company Maersk, said to be the world’s largest shipping company, is to buy Hamburg-Süd.

cap-polonio-3Once one of the premier companies on the route from Europe to South America, Hamburg-Süd was founded in 1871 by a combination of German and British entrepreneurs. It was well-known in the first half of the 20th century for operating such liners as Cap Arcona, Cap Trafalgar, Cap Polonio and Cap Norte.

Cap Trafalgar, whose maiden voyage was in March 1914, was conspicuous for the battle fought with Cunard’s Carmania in August 1914, when both had been converted to armed merchant cruisers.

Cap Arcona was bombed and destroyed in May 1945 when she was carrying several thousand evacuees and inmates from some of the concentration camps. At least 5,000 people were killed in the sinking, making it one of the worst maritime disasters in history.

In more recent years the company became part of the Oetker Group. Maersk stated that the company would keep its brand name, and would remain based in Hamburg.

maersk-containershipsIn a later statement, on 13th December, Maersk confirmed that the acquisition and operation of Hamburg-Süd would hopefully replace around 60% of the revenue that will be lost when Moller-Maersk separates off its Energy Division, to leave itself free to concentrate on transport and logistics. Last year the Energy Division added $9.8 billion to the conglomerate’s revenue: it is anticipated that Hamburg-Süd will generate some $6 billion.