Establishment of Hapag
Establishment of the Hamburg-Amerikanischen Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (Hapag) by Hamburg merchants and ship owners, with the goal of creating a fast and reliable liner service between Hamburg and North America using first-class sailing ships.
Packet boat “Deutschland” becomes the first Hapag vessel to sail the route between Hamburg and New York. This marks the first time the mostly very poor emigrants are provided with improved care – a recipe for success!
Establishment of North German Lloyd
Establishment of North German Lloyd in Bremen by Hermann Henrich Meier. In June 1858, the “Bremen” is the first ocean liner of Lloyd to undertake its voyage to North America – and so begins the competition with Hamburg-based Hapag.
Albert Ballin takes over Hapag’s passage department; he becomes the company’s director in 1888 and its managing director in 1899. Following years of poor economic development and a lack of competitiveness vis-à-vis Lloyd, Ballin manages to lead Hapag to global leadership through innovative entrepreneurial action.
Invention of the cruise
Hapag owns the largest fleet while Lloyd transports the most passengers worldwide. The concept of the cruise had been launched with the first pleasure trip on Hapag’s flagship “Augusta Victoria” in 1891.
Together, Hapag and Lloyd return to their old trades; the “Hamburg” is Hapag’s first post-war newbuild to be launched. Two world wars have led to the loss of the fleet. Taken together with the policies of nationalisation and “Aryanisation”, this represents the darkest chapter in the Company’s history. The courageous rescue of 937 Jewish refugees by Hapag Captain Schröder of the “St. Louis” represents a small ray of light during this period.
First European full container service
Hapag and Lloyd establish the first European full container service. Following the invention of containers for maritime shipping in the USA in 1966, Hapag and Lloyd cooperate so that they can also offer this revolutionary transport system.
First container ships
The first Hapag and Lloyd container ships: the “Elbe Express” and the “Weser Express”. The structure of the shipping industry is changing so quickly that there are speculations in the industry that an inevitable merger of Hapag and Lloyd is imminent.