Under the banner of transport for 130 years

1887: Hamburg was booming. The rising export economy of the German Empire ensured there were full order books in the Hanseatic City and the city's port was a hive of activity. The proudest expression of this economic upsurge was the newly constructed warehouse district, the Speicherstadt - even today the largest interconnected warehouse complex in the world. It is here that Arthur Hartrodt founded his freight-forwarding business, a. hartrodt, on 1st May 1887 in the Alter Wandrahm area.

The business was focused internationally from the very beginning: a subsidiary in Antwerp and the first branch office in the Netherlands were opened shortly after the founding of the company. Worldwide trade was also in the sights of a. hartrodt from an early stage: in 1907 the barque "Gretchen Hartrodt“ set out on the long journey to Melbourne, which it reached after a voyage of 83 days. In addition to Australia, prospects in North and South America also beckoned: from 1914 onwards from his base in Buenos Aires, Arthur Hartrodt expanded the traffic routes to the  South American continent. The company developed into the leading freight forwarder to Australia and South America, taking German influence to all corners of the world: a particular speciality was the export of German pianos.  

The 1930s brought profound changes: in 1936 the company founder  Arthur Hartrodt died and when the Second World War broke out three years later, the company was not spared from the impact of the conflict. It was only due to the efforts of dedicated employees, that the post war company was able to rise again quickly. As well as founding freight depots in several locations in Germany, the company also extended its air freight business, which was controlled initially from Hamburg and then later from Frankfurt.

In addition to strengthening its existing locations in South America and Australia, the network of a. hartrodt was systematically extended elsewhere: the first office in South Africa was added in 1969 and the growing significance of transport to Eastern Europe was also recognised at an early stage by a. hartrodt. When the office in Tokyo was opened, Asia joined the continents represented on the company's map.

The 1970s brought a significant revival in the freight business with the introduction of containers and a. hartrodt immediately participated in the boom. In 1971 the company moved to its new business premises at 35 Högerdamm, Hamburg where it has its headquarters to this day.

The following years were characterised by expansion. In addition to  development  of the existing locations, China also became a new destination for the company's focus: Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and Qingdao became new locations. Through the founding of food & beverage logistics (HK) Ltd, a. hartrodt was also able to offer, from 2005 onwards, an extensive range of food and beverage transport services to this region.

Today there is a personal contact for a. hartrodt in virtually every corner of the globe. The company's 2,000 employees provide optimum transport solutions worldwide which go far beyond sea and air freight: from courier dispatch to shipment of complete turnkey projects, a. hartrodt has the right solution for almost every logistics requirement. 

1. May 1887

Arthur Hartrodt founds the freight-forwarding business, a. hartrodt, in the Alter Wandrahm area of Hamburg.

 

 

1905

Founding of a subsidiary in Antwerp and the opening of the first branch office in the Netherlands.

 

 

1907

First sailing of the barque "Gretchen Hartrodt" to Melbourne. Transit time - 83 days.

 

 

1910

Opening of the office in London, together with Bremen and Buenos Aires.Expansion of the business links with North America and Australia.

 

 

1912

25 year anniversary of the company.
Attorney Rudolph Thode becomes a partner in the company.

1914

Arthur Hartrodt expands the South American traffic routes from his base in Buenos Aires. Robert Dundas-Smith moves from the London office to Australia.

1920

Return of Arthur Hartrodt to Germany.

1922

Move to the new offices at Alstertor 1, Hamburg.

1922

a. hartrodt becomes the leading freight forwarder for traffic to South. America and Australia. Particular speciality: export of German pianos.

1936

Arthur Hartrodt dies in Santos, Brazil.

1937

Arthur Hartrodt's son-in-law, Dr. Wilhelm Wenzel and Rudolph Thodes's son-in-law, Johannes Gröseling, become co-owners.

1958 

Company registration of  a. hartrodt (Australia) in Sydney.

 

1960

Opening of offices in Rotterdam and Genoa.

 

1960

Development of the air freight business with central control in  Hamburg and then later in Frankfurt.

 

1960

Founding of airfreight depots in Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Munich and Saarbrücken.

1962

Konrad Wenzel becomes a partner. 

1963

First branch office in Melbourne, followed by Fremantle, Brisbane and Adelaide.

1965 

Siegfried van Tienhoven becomes a partner.

 

1968

Rudolph Thode retires from the company

1969 

Dr. Wilhelm Wenzel enters retirement 

Founding of a. hartrodt Argentina SRL 

Opening of the first office in Africa, with Johannesburg as the core of the future a. hartrodt South Africa (Pty) Ltd and with a further subsidiary in Cape Town

Development of traffic routes to Eastern European countries

1970

Opening of the first office in Asia: Tokyo

1970

 Introduction of containers to sea traffic

 

 

1970

 

a. hartrodt enters the consolidated container business, particularly to North America

1971

Purchase of the building at 35 Högerdamm and the move into the new business premises

1972

Change of the partnership status of the company to a. hartrodt (GmbH & Co) KG, with a. hartrodt management company ltd as the shareholder and the following limited partners: Konrad Wenzel, Joachim Siegfried van Tienhoven, Meta Hake and Arthur Wenzel. 

Founding of many subsidiaries in Europe and overseas

Introduction of EDP

1976

Joachim Braasch, Managing Director for many years of a. hartrodt (Australia) Pty. Ltd, is appointed as a company Managing Director  

1983

Singapore as the second subsidiary in Asia

1985

Appointment of Andreas Wenzel to the Management Board

1986

Jan van Tienhoven takes up a position in the company

1987

Company's 100th anniversary

Konrad Wenzel dies at the age of 66

1990 to 2000

Further globalisation of the company and focus on overseas freight forwarding

Intensification of business relations with Asia and South America

1990 to 2000

 

Founding of subsidiaries in Korea and Peru, as well as an air freight depot in Belgium and offices in Beijing and Shanghai

Number of employees worldwide: 862

 

 

2000

Gerd Haase and Willem van der Schalk are appointed as company Managing Directors

Joachim Braasch retires from the company

Founding of subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Hungary

2002

Founding of a. hartrodt (hong kong) limited, with further subsidiaries in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing and Qingdao, with Class A  freight-forwarding licence for the full range of freight-forwarding services

2005

Founding of Food & Beverage Logistics (HK) Ltd.

2007

Founding of the Indian subsidiary

2010

Introduction of Regional Directors to ensure smooth communication between the Group’s 1,700 employees and to maintain the Company’s high standards throughout 

2012

Company’s 125th anniversary

2013

Gerd Haase retires from the company. Andreas Schrön and Hendrik Khezri are appointed as  Managing Directors.