First liner service launched in 1892 / Today’s market leader in Canada / 14 services to Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa
125 years ago, the steamship “Cremon” set sail from Europe to Canada for the first time under the Hapag flag. Hapag-Lloyd celebrated this anniversary in Montreal yesterday with the shipping company’s customers and other partners.
“As an important connection between Atlantic and Pacific, as well as between the United States, Asia and Europe, Canada has been and continues to be an important and special partner for us,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, the CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG. “But Canada has also become a hub of the global shipping industry.”
Container ship Antwerpen Express - Image courtesy of Colin Arnold
At the end of the 19th century, Canada became so attractive in business terms that it made economic sense for the Hamburg-based shipping company to establish a regular liner service to it. Today, Hapag-Lloyd accounts for almost one-fifth of the total containerized cargo handled each year in Canadian ports. With 14 liner services altogether (6 in Vancouver, 3 in Montreal and 5 in Halifax), Hapag-Lloyd connects the country – directly and dependably – with North Europe, the Mediterranean region, Asia and Oceania, as well as with Africa via transshipment in Tangier.
The steamship “Cremon” was still rather small 125 years ago, with a length of 90 meters and capacity of 2,132 gross register tons. But, today, Hapag-Lloyd handles container transports with vessels of the “Hamburg Express” class, which stretch up to 366 meters long and boast capacities of up to 13,200 TEU. On May 5, the first ship of this class, the Antwerpen Express, moored in Vancouver for the first time. It is the largest container ship to ever call at a Canadian port.
In 2005, Hapag-Lloyd acquired the Canadian shipping company CP Ships, thereby becoming the market leader in Canada. In addition, via railway connections to Canadian ports, Hapag-Lloyd has been able to efficiently link important markets in the United States to its international liner network.
“We feel extremely tied to Canada for economic and historical reasons,” said Wolfgang Schoch, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Canada. “Recently, with the start of the new THE Alliance and additional Hapag-Lloyd services, we have once again improved our range of services for customers in Canada.”
Today, Hapag-Lloyd has almost 200 employees in Canada, in the cities of Montreal, Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver.