EARLY BEGININGS AND RECOGNITION
Samuel Siegfried Hecksher, a young naval officer, founded the firm of S Hecksher on 2 June 1797 after his appointment as Royal Shipbroker in Copenhagen. Through diligence and competence, he quickly established a strong position in maritime circles.
During the wars with England in 1807-14 Denmark led an effective privateering campaign against the British shipping trade. With gunboats and a letter of marque. Hecksher was actively involved in seizing enemy vessels. Through his firm he organized auctions of the valuables seized and also contributed significantly to raising funds for the construction and fitting-out of gunboats.
He was awarded the Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog for outstanding service. In 1865, Ludvig Adolph’s son Carl Joseph Hecksher was made a partner and, under its new name, Hecksher & Søn the firm entered an era of growing power and glory. In 1882, the firm also became managing ship-owners. This activity grew steadily and at its peak the group of steamship companies was considered to be the second largest in Denmark – and the largest within the tramp trade.
SHIPOWNERS – GLORY AND DECLINE
In 1865, Ludvig Adolph’s son Carl Joseph Hecksher was made a partner and, under its new name, Hecksher & Søn the firm entered an era of growing power and glory. In 1882, the firm also became managing ship-owners. This activity grew steadily and at its peak the group of steamship companies was considered to be the second largest in Denmark – and the largest within the tramp trade.
When Carl Hecksher died in 1890, the male line of the Hecksher family died out with him. The firm was continued by senior staff – a practice later to become customary. P L Fisker became the new managing owner. Under his leadership the fleet, operating globally increased from 9 to 27 vessels and included some of the largest merchant vessels in Denmark. In 1902 a regular liner service was established, operating on the Rotterdam – Philadelphia axis
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Under the new name of Hecksher & Søn’s Eftf. The company’s activities were concentrated solely upon ship broking. In the interwar period, business areas were extended to include important liner and ship agencies, chartering, insurance and average agencies. This development continued after the Second World War, when the Marshall Plan came to play a significant role in the firm’s history.
In 1964 the firm became the first Copenhagen-based shipbroker to open an office in Århus. The company also began activity in shipbuilding agencies and freight forwarding. Through a number of newly established subsidiaries related activities were taken up, container leasing, road haulage, warehousing and airfreight operations were incorporated. In 1969 the ship owning business was resumed.
During the seventies and eighties the international liner traffic business changed radically. Containerization revolutionized the business imposing special demands on ship-owners and their agents. The skills and enormous know-how of the firm were concentrated on meeting these demands – with great success. In 1984 the firm changed its name again to the name it still carries Hecksher Linieagenturer A/S. At this time a new important era of activity began which resulted in the company regaining a dominant, central position within its field.
HECKSHER – TODAY
With our proud past, rich in significant events, and with more than two hundred years’ experience we are today, guarantors of stability, continuity and expertise. Guided by modern flexible and visionary principles we base our present and future business on a concept of high quality and continued development. We are a company in a Danish-owned group that also comprises a number of businesses in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom. Being part of such a well founded and far- reaching professional network means that we can draw upon different strengths within the group.
With this solid foundation we are able to excel in our line of business and we are a strong player on the global scene – at sea, on land and in the air – we are known for supplying optimum solutions.
At our head office the ship’s clock has chimed, announcing the beginning of the third century of our firm. The course has been set, and the engine- room telegraph is on full speed ahead. An exciting direction charted for our professional and service-minded staff, who manage all daily activities from our offices in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Gothenburg, Oslo, Helsinki, Gdynia and Riga.
They have wealth of knowledge available and are eager to draw on their extensive experience-why not get to know them?