Germany’s largest shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has been sailing the seas for over 160 years. Its fleet has everything from container ships to cruise liners. Hapag-Lloyd is based in the harbor city of Hamburg.
In the 19th century, the German emperor would often travel there from Berlin for the ceremonial launch of a new luxury steamship. These days, shares of this gigantic multinational are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. When the global economy suffers, Hapag-Lloyd suffers too. This documentary looks back over the origins of this venerable shipping company.
The ‘Hamburg-Amerikanische-Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft’ (HAPAG), was founded in 1847; Norddeutscher Lloyd ten years later in Bremen. At first the two companies were bitter competitors – it wasn’t until 1970 that they merged. Today the company is active around the world.
This report takes a look behind the scenes and accompanies young trainees, the First Officer and the Captain of a container giant on the way from Rotterdam to Southampton via Hamburg. It reveals how difficult sales negotiations can be and it asks CEO Rolf Habben Jansen with the question whether container shipping will remain profitable in the future.
Source: DW Documentary