Suche nach:

Ernst Russ -

from 1893 to today

Ernst Russ
1867 – 1957

Ernst Günther Russ came to Hamburg in 1888, became a shipbroker in 1893 and subsequently an extremely successful shipowner in a century in which an extraordinary amount happened and changed in shipping and maritime transportation.

130 Years of Shipping

The history of Ernst Russ AG goes back to the year 1893. From its beginnings in the 19th century and after an extraordinarily varied development in the 20th century, an internationally active, traded shipping company has evolved. The company combines active asset and investment management with international shipping expertise and today looks back on a long and successful history.

Follow us on a short trip through time and let us travel back through over 130 years of company and shipping history. The constant change, the strength to overcome setbacks and to dare to make new beginnings, led Ernst Russ through two turns of the century and world wars into an era in which shipping is being rethought after upheavals, global economic crises and the coronavirus pandemic - be it due to technological developments, ecological aspects or geopolitical influences.

1893

Foundation of the Traditional Shipping Company

Over 130 years ago, on 29 April 1893, the company Ernst Russ, Schiffsmakler (ship broker), was entered in the Hamburg commercial register.

1893
1895

Opening of the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee-Kanal)

The opening of the Kiel Canal in 1895, then renamed the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal a short time later, led to a sharp increase in trade and shipping between Hamburg and the countries bordering the Baltic Sea. The photo shows the laying of the foundation stone for the high bridge near Levensau on 21 June 1893 in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

1895
1896

Hamburg-Finland Linie

In 1896, the Flensburg-Stettiner Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft opened a line from Hamburg to Finland. Ernst Russ was given the first agency. In the following years, Ernst Russ received further agencies for the Hamburg - Sunderland, Hamburg - St. Petersburg and Hamburg - Stockholm - Northern Sweden lines, etc. The photo shows the port of Hamburg before the First World War and Kaispeicher A or Kaiserspeicher.

1896
1898

Two Important Decisions

Ernst Russ benefited from the good trading situation created by the new Kaiser Wilhelm Canal and made two important decisions in 1898: Ernst Russ married his wife Martha née Frings (see drawing) and decided to become a shipbroker.

1898
1899

The First Newbuilding MARTHA RUSS

In 1899, Ernst Russ bought the second-hand steamship "SECUNDA" (775 GRT). The first newbuilding, which he ordered shortly afterwards, was built at the Neptun shipyard in Rostock. The cargo ship, which he named after his wife MARTHA RUSS, already had 2,007 GRT and a carrying capacity of 3,100 tdw.

1899
1900

Another Cargo Vessel Completes the Fleet

In 1900, the steamship BOTHILDE RUSS (1,189 GRT), built in 1891, was added to the fleet.

1900
1903

A Separate Liner Service to Finland

In 1903, following the acquisition of FÖHR, Ernst Russ opened its own Finland service with four ships, after many Finland services had previously been discontinued by other shipping companies. Shortly after its foundation, Ernst Russ thus became a liner shipping company with its main trade in the North Sea/Baltic region. The connection with Finland became one of the main pillars of the business.

1903
1914

Fleet Size of Eleven Ships

In 1914 (Photo: Hamburg Harbour in the year 1914) the Ernst Russ fleet had eleven ships engaged in tramp and liner shipping in the North and Baltic Seas as well as in the North and South Atlantic. Five more ships had already left the fleet by then due to sale or loss at sea. World War I takes its toll on Ernst Russ, so that after the end of the war in 1918, Ernst Russ had six ships left.

1914
1923

Rebuilding the Ernst Russ Fleet

In 1923 inflation in Germany was at its peak. At this time, one US dollar was the equivalent of 4.2 trillion German marks. Despite this, Ernst Russ managed to stabilize and rebuild the fleet after the severe damage inflicted by the world war.

1923
1926

Partners Strengthen the Ernst Russ Company

In 1926, Ernst Russ took on his son-in-law Paul Lorenz-Meyer and his brother Christian Russ as partners in the company. He was responsible for the technical management of the fleet from the very beginning. 1933 his general counsel Dr. Heinrich Riensberg followed.

1926
1939

Successful Reconstruction and Another Setback

In 1939, the fleet of the Ernst Russ shipping company had grown to 37 ships. The majority of these, including the D. BOTILLA RUSS (sunk in St. Nazaire in 1944), were lost in the Second World War.

1939
1945

World War II Leaves Hardly Anything Behind

At the end of the war in 1945, the Ernst Russ fleet was once again severely decimated: 13 ships were sunk during the Second World War and 20 ships had to be surrendered to the Allies at the end of the war. At the age of 78, Ernst Russ began to rebuild his fleet. He received support from the American Marshall Plan.

1945
1950

The Fleet Is Rebuilt for the Third Time

The third rebuilding of the Ernst Russ fleet began in 1950 - again with three ships, which were given the traditional names MARTHA RUSS, TILLY RUSS and E. RUSS.

1950
1957

Death of Ernst Russ

Shortly before his 90th birthday, on November 18, 1957, Ernst Russ passed away. He left his successors an important and flourishing shipping company with a fleet of 21 ships. Ernst Russ relied on mutual trust and efficiency - values that also guided the actions of his successors and led to the shipping company being one of the oldest shipping companies in Hamburg today.

1957
1961

Death of Paul Lorenz-Meyer

Paul Lorenz-Meyer passed away on 25 September 1961. In almost 40 years of cooperation with his father-in-law, he had rendered great services to the continued existence of the family business and was furthermore a member of the supervisory board of Hamburg-Amerika Linie, the advisory board of Afrikanische Frucht-Compagnie and the supervisory board of Nord-Deutsche Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, among others.

1961
1984

Death of Dr. Heinrich Riensberg

Dr. Heinrich Riensberg passed away in 1984 at the age of 88. Dr. Riensberg was also a shipping expert at the German legation in Stockholm and later chairman of the Association of German Shipowners.

1984
1985

Hanseatische Capital Invest AG (HCI) Is Founded

Hanseatische Capital Invest AG was founded in 1985 as an issuing house for ship investments. The company quickly developed into one of the leading providers of ship investments in Germany and expanded its business to include other asset classes such as real estate, private equity and alternative investments.

1985
1999

König & Cie. Is Founded

Founded in 1999, König & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG was initially active as an issuing house for ship investments and other asset classes such as infrastructure, private equity and real estate. From 2008, König & Cie. successfully transformed itself into a group of companies operating internationally as a shipping company and maritime service provider.

1999
2005

HCI Capital AG Goes Public

HCI Capital AG went public in 2005.

2005
2016

Foundation of Ernst Russ AG

The HCI Group took over König & Cie. GmbH & Co KG, thereby expanding its range of maritime and shipping-related services. In addition, Ernst Russ GmbH & Co. KG was brought into the HCI Group as a contribution in kind. The company has been trading as Ernst Russ AG since 2016.

2016
2019

Several Sales and Focusing of the Company

The Ernst Russ Group sold the Investor Management segment in 2019. In the following year 2020, the Ernst Russ Group sold Assetando Real Estate GmbH and other companies from the Real Estate segment. Since then, the Ernst Russ Group has focused solely on the Shipping segment.

2019
2021

Majority Interests in a Fleet of Twelve Container Ships

In 2021, the Ernst Russ Group acquired majority interests in a fleet of twelve feeder container ships - eleven container ships of 800 TEU and one container ship of 1,800 TEU.

2021
2023

Ernst Russ Expands Fleet with 13,371 TEU Container Ship

The "Rome Express" was acquired in 2023. With the acquisition of the 13,371 TEU container ship, the Ernst Russ Group added an ultra-large container vessel to its fleet.

2023