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25. August 2022 175 Jahre Hapag-Lloyd - 150 Jahre Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores

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Südamerikareise, Centro de Eventos Vista Santiago; Rede des Ersten Bürgermeisters Dr. Peter Tschentscher. Es gilt das gesprochene Wort.

175 Jahre Hapag-Lloyd - 150 Jahre Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores

Dear Mr. Martínez,
Dear Mr. Kulka,
Dear Mr. Ide,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for the invitation to celebrate 175 years of Hapag-Lloyd and 150 years of Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores – two of the oldest shipping companies in the world.

When they were founded, Hamburg and Chile had already been business partners for a long time. 

Since the 17th century, our port has been a major European hub for goods from Latin America. A Chilean consulate general opened in Hamburg in 1835 to expand the various economic co-operations and open up new ones. 

About ten years later, in 1847, a group of merchants founded the Hamburg America Line HAPAG to meet the growing demand for transatlantic shipping.

Modern HAPAG ships crossed the Atlantic in record time. In the early years, the company focused on the transportation of passengers. The ships offered good travel conditions for emigrants who wanted to begin new lives in the New World. 

In 1871, HAPAG established a regular liner service to ports in Latin America.

Until the First World War, five million people left Europe via the Port of Hamburg, many of them on HAPAG ships. During this time, Hamburg gained its reputation as “Gateway to the World”.

After the war, HAPAG was confronted with the destruction or confiscation of most of its fleet. The same happened after World War Two in 1945, followed by difficult years of rebuilding. 

The beginning of container shipping in the 1960s and the merger with the “Norddeutscher Lloyd” in 1970 were two important milestones in the history of Hapag-Lloyd, creating the company as we know it today.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The joining of container shipping activities between Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV in 2014 marks another historical development. 

As we all know, CSAV has a rich and impressive history of its own.

The partnership between these two proud institutions created the fifth-biggest shipping company in the world. Both partners have benefitted greatly from this successful transaction.

Today, Hapag-Lloyd operates 250 ships that serve over 120 trade routes around the globe. 24 lead to and from Latin America. The Hapag-Lloyd fleet is one of the most modern, ecological and efficient fleets in the industry.

The famous Albert Ballin, who led Hapag-Lloyd form 1899 until his death in 1918, used to say: “Mein Feld ist die Welt” – “the world is my field”.  

Today we say: “The world is our field.”

In their history, both companies overcame many difficulties and challenges, including wars and recessions, the industrial and the container revolutions. They adapted to the new circumstances and took advantage of new opportunities when the time was right – just like in 2014. 

Now we work together and are stronger than before. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

for Hamburg and Germany, our connection to Latin America as a whole – and to Chile in particular – is very important.

As we face global challenges like climate change and the energy transition, our two countries have much to gain from closer co-operation.

Yesterday, together with the Port of Hamburg, I signed an agreement with the Chilean Ministry of Energy. We will work together in developing our green hydrogen infrastructures.

The energy transition will also change the shipping industry and Hapag-Lloyd. I am glad that we are facing this challenge as partners: “Mejor juntos – Better together”

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

In the name of the Hamburg Senate, I would like to congratulate you on 175 – and 150 – years of continued success. 

I wish you and the many thousand employees in Chile, Germany, and around the world all the best for the future.

Thank you very much.

Themenübersicht auf hamburg.de


Der Senat