F. Laeisz

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F. Laeisz

legal form Open trading company
founding March 24, 1824
Seat Hamburg , Rostock , Bremerhaven , Grabow , Germany
management Nikolaus W. Schües
Nikolaus H. Schües
Number of employees 957 sea side and 165 land side
Branch Shipping company, trade, insurance
Website www.laeisz.de

Laeiszhof , headquarters of the shipping company
Laeiszhof at Trostbrücke 1 in Hamburg's old town

F. Laeisz (pronounced "Leiß"; short: FL ) is a traditional Hamburg shipping company (today's offices in Hamburg, Rostock , Bremerhaven and Grabow ), which was known above all for its fast and robust tall ships , known as the Flying P-Liner . The shipping company flag shows the initials "FL" with and without three stars (trade, shipping and insurance) in red on a white background, in the same colors the shipping company coat of arms an anchor, flanked by the initials, crowned by the three stars.

Development of the shipping company

Ferdinand Laeisz founded a company for the manufacture of hats on March 24, 1824. As a result of the expansion abroad, the Brigg Carl , named after his son, was bought in 1839 . On March 1, 1852, Ferdinand's son Carl Laeisz joined the company as a partner. In 1857 the first own new building was purchased. The wooden barque was christened Poodle after the nickname of Carl's wife, Sophie Laeisz (1838–1912) ; Sophie Laeisz got the nickname from her hairstyle.

All other own new buildings from 1861 had the first letter "P" in their name. As a result, British seafarers initially referred to the shipping company as P-Line. Carl Laeisz's credo was “My ships can and should make fast journeys!” Soon his sailors stood for reliability and speed, after which they became known as the Flying P-Liner , also popularly known as the Hamburg four-master.

In 1892 F. Laeisz bought his first iron steamer ( Hamburg, renamed Naxos ) from the Hamburg-South American Steamship Company (Laeisz founded in 1871), which was used by the Deutsche Levante Line (DLL, Laeisz cofounded in 1889). Over time, a market position emerged through the founding of further steam shipping companies and lines (including 1847 co-founding of Hapag, 1874 co-founding of the German-Australian Steamship Company, 1886 co - founding of the Woermann Line , 1890 co- founding of the German East Africa Line ).

The co-founded companies were very progressively equipped with steamships, while Laeisz continued the sailing ship tradition of the Flying P-Liners, which achieved world fame and high profits with their saltpeter trips. Until the end of the 1920s, F. Laeisz concentrated on the saltpetre trade with Chile , which was then made superfluous by the artificially manufactured saltpetre using the Haber-Bosch process .

In 1897/98, the Laeiszhof on the Trostbrücke was built, a representative office building for the company that is still based there today.

In 1914, the first two banana refrigerated ships Pionier and Pungo were ordered for the subsidiary African Frucht-Compagnie , which was founded in 1912 and which, due to the outbreak of the First World War, never came into service as such for the shipping company when the first world war broke out. With the Poseidon , the first steamship was taken over in 1923 and the last sailing ship, the four-masted barque Padua, was acquired in 1926 . This purchase heralded the end of the Flying P-Liner era , which was reached when the ship was sold to the Soviet Union after World War II.

Since 1904, the company has owned a significant block of shares in BRAHMA, a predecessor company of today's brewery group AmBev , which was confiscated during the war in 1942 and which the Brazilian government has so far refused to return.

In 1947 the shipping company started over with the two fishing cutters Plisch and Plum , which still carried three auxiliary sails. F. Laeisz then concentrated on transporting bananas from South America for a few decades.

After the partners Willi Ganssauge (1936) and Nikolaus W. Schües (1973) and their families had already acquired a stake in the shipping company in addition to the Laeisz family, the newly founded F. Laeisz Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH + Co took over all of them in early 1982 in a severe shipping crisis Shipping businesses. Shares in the new company are Schües and, limited to a few years, F. Laeisz. In 2004 Schües bought F. Laeisz (OHG) with all rights to the history. The shipping company F. Laeisz, Rostock, is the operating company today, while F. Laeisz GmbH, Hamburg, acts as the holding company.

Today the shipping company operates container ships , bulk, gas and car carriers and research vessels. Almost all ships today have names that begin with "P". With the Peene Ore as its flagship , the shipping company operates the largest merchant ship under the German flag.

The Musikhalle Hamburg at Johannes-Brahms- Platz has been called Laeiszhalle again since January 2005 . Carl Laeisz had committed the company in his will to pay 1.2 million marks for the construction of a music hall, his widow Sophie had topped up the amount again. The neo-baroque building, completed in 1908, was the largest and most modern concert hall in Germany when it opened and was called the Laeiszhalle until 1933.

See also

Research vessel Polarstern , currently managed by F. Laeisz


  • Peter Klingbeil: The Flying P-Liner. The sailing ships of the shipping company F. Laeisz. Verlag "Die Hanse", Hamburg 1998 a. 2000, ISBN 3-434-52562-9 .
  • Hans Georg Prager: "F. Laeisz ”from cargo sailors to bulk carriers. Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Herford 1974, ISBN 3-7822-0096-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Consolidated financial statements of F. Laeisz GmbH as of December 31, 2014 in the eBundesanzeiger
  2. ^ Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon . 11th edition. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1911 ( zeno.org [accessed on August 13, 2019] Lexicon entry “Laeisz”).
  3. z. B. Sophie Laeisz. Hamburger Abendblatt , accessed on March 3, 2008.
  4. Alexander Busch, São Paulo: An “Overseas Treasure”. In: nzz.ch. December 22, 2013, accessed October 14, 2018 .
  5. The company. The rebuilding. "From 1982 to 1989". on the website of F. Laeisz ( Memento from November 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Container ships on F. Laeisz's website , accessed on October 5, 2011.
  7. Peer Schmidt-Walther: Giant freighter in a hurricane. In: Ders., Freighter Travel. As a passenger on board. Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, 2nd revised edition, Hamburg 2010, pp. 153–155, ISBN 978-3-7822-1016-4 .
  8. ^ Sophie Laeisz. Hamburger Abendblatt , accessed on March 3, 2008.