Hapag-Lloyd traces its origins back to the mid-19th century and two venerable German shipping companies, Hamburg America Line of Hamburg and North German Lloyd of Bremen.
The Hapag Company was first established in 1847, and had merged with North German Lloyd (NGL), while the Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) had been founded in 1856.
In 1900, Lloyd and Hapag shared the new contract to operate the Imperial Mail Steamer Service, sailing fortnightly from Hamburg and Bremerhaven alternately.
Until World War II, the two companies operated some of the world’s largest and fastest liners and were pioneers in the operation of pleasure cruises.
The two firms had themselves been conjoined in 1970 as Hapag-Lloyd with headquarters in Hamburg.
The Hapag-Lloyd was sufficiently successful to become a takeover objective, and in 1998 Preussag AG bought a controlling interest in the company. In 2009, Preussag AG later name TUI AG sells Hapag-Lloyd to Albert Bali Holding GmbH AG & KG for 4.45 billion euro.