Hamburg's state quay administration was founded in 1866. Its role included organising transloading for the city and the maintenance of both the wharfs and the equipment and machinery on them. In March 1885, the city founded the Hamburger Freihafen-Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft . As part of Hamburg's inclusion in the German Imperial customs system, the company's role was to build and maintain the world's most modern and largest logistics centre at that time – Hamburg's Speicherstadt historical warehouse district. It was an Aktiengesellschaft from the very beginning, with the city contributing the property and Norddeutsche Bank the capital. Construction of the Speicherstadt warehouse district began in 1885 and was largely completed by 1912. By 1913, the Port of Hamburg was the third-largest in the world behind the ports of London and New York.During World War I , the Royal Navy blocked the seaports of the German Reich. This brought business in Hamburg and its port to a complete standstill. In the Treaty of Versailles, the allied powers forced Germany to give up the majority of its merchant navy. Companies such as HAPAG were, however, able to retool in the coming years. In 1927, the City of Hamburg became the sole shareholder in HFLG.The effects of the Great Depression , protectionism in many industrial countries, the seizure of control by the National Socialists and their autarky policy saw cross border trade drop to levels lower than before the crisis. In 1935, HFLG merged with the state quay administration to become the Betriebsgesellschaft der hamburgischen Hafenanlagen. As well as operating the port facilities, it was also responsible for their upkeep and expansion. In 1939, the company was renamed, becoming Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus-Aktiengesellschaft . During World War II, HHLA employed forced labour. Allied bombers attacked the Port of Hamburg multiple times, destroying large parts of it.
The Second World War ended in May 1945. The Port of Hamburg had suffered further damage. Around 90% of the quay shed area was destroyed, and two thirds of the warehouses were left unusable. Large parts of the quay walls lay in ruins. Almost 3,000 shipwrecks prevented regulated shipping movements. The reconstruction of the port was largely completed by 1956.1967 saw the opening of the "Übersee-Zentrum". It was, at the time, the world's largest distribution shed and was used as a distribution facility for mixed break bulk cargo. It remained in use until 2016. The first container ship docked in the Port of Hamburg in 1968. It was handled at Burchardkai – where HHLA later built the Container Terminal Burchardkai – using container cranes. In 1970, new port order regulations relieved HHLA of all sovereign functions. This created competition between companies in the port industry. In 1978, HHLA opened its new fruit and cooling centre for fruit and refrigerated goods, which has been modernised multiple times in the years since.In 1990, many of the former Eastern Bloc states became independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Port of Hamburg was soon able to resume handling cargo for these countries . HHLA began to invest in a number of companies that organised container transport on the railway network, and the volume of cargo that they handled rose. The first container ship was handled at the new Container Terminal Altenwerder on 25 June 2002. On 1 October 2005, the company changed its name to Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG. The abbreviation HHLA remained.
HHLA was retroactively split into the subgroups Port Logistics and Real Estate with effect from 1 January 2007. On 2 November 2007, the Port Logistics subgroup was listed on the stock exchange. Since its initial public offering in October 2007, HHLA shares have been traded on the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Hamburg Stock Exchange.
Mr. Torben Seebold (Chief HR Officer & Member of Exec. Board)
Stefanie Steiner (Head of Investor Relations)
Oliver Dux (Managing Director - CTA)
Ingo Witte (Managing Director-Cta)
Dr. Thomas Koch (Managing Director-CTT)
Gerlinde John (Head of Terminal Devel. - CTA)
Recognition and Awards
Ms. Angela Titzrath (Chairwoman of the Exec. Board & CEO)
Dr. Roland Lappin (CFO & Member of Exec. Board)
Mr. Jens Hansen (COO & Member of Exec. Board)