Hapag-Lloyd is a German transportation company comprising a cargo container shipping line and a cruise line. It was formed in 1970 as a merger of two 19th Century companies, Hapag, which dated from 1847, and Norddeutsche Lloyd (NDL) or North German Lloyd (NGL), which was formed in 1856.
During World War I, the entire Hapag fleet of 175 ships was wiped out and the NGL fleet of 135 ships was almost completely destroyed. Many ocean liners were lost during the conflict, leading to Ballen's suicide in 1918. The fleets of both companies were again wiped out during World War II.
NDL was formed in 1856 in Bremen, offering shipping service between Bremerhaven and New York, and building a large fleet of ships that carried 240,000 passengers across the Atlantic in 1913 alone. The outbreak of World War I resulted in the loss or seizure of NDL's entire fleet.
During World War II the entire fleet was again lost. The Swedish American Line Gripsholm was acquired in 1954, and another Bremen, formerly Pasteur, and Europa (Kungsholm), were launched.
Hapag and NGL continued to compete until establishing a joint-venture container line in 1968 and finally merging in 1970 under the name Hapag-Lloyd. On September 1, 1970, the NDL merged operations with Hapag.
The conglomerate founded the charter airline Hapag-Lloyd Airlines 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 was acquired in 1998 by TUI AG (Hanover), a tourism conglomerate, and became its fully-owned subsidiary in 2002. 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.
- TUI AG (Hanover)
- List of NDL Ships with pictures
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