Our History

1800 - 1900

On 5 th January 1868, Heinrich Ferdinand Schuldt, born 17 th October 1840 in Hamburg, founded an independent business, H. Schuldt, a “chartering, clearance, commission and haulage business” in Flensburg, which only recently had become a Prussian provincial town and whose port was becoming ever more important after the opening of the North Baltic Canal in 1895.
Having completed an apprenticeship in a Hamburg enterprise, he gained further knowledge and experience in the fields of shipping, haulage and insurance after his move to Rendsburg. The losses of the business’ first year had already been made good by the end of the second.
When a branch was established in Holnis, a narrow area in the Flensburg Fjord, which had to be navigated extremely slowly and carefully, H. Schuldt was given the decisive advantage of being able to offer his clearance services to the captains well before their approach to the harbour. This also led to the erection of the first telephone line outside Flensburg.
The company also traded in iron, bricks and timber stored in leased premises later to be forwarded to the purchasers with the company’s own fleet.
It was the brokerage and clearance business, in particular, that flourished as a result of the new wave of companies that were being established in Flensburg in 1869, the so-called 69ers, and this lead to H. Schuldt entering into its first shipping commitment in 1875: a 7/16 share in the 81 BRT topgallant schooner MINNA, thus founding the shipping business.
H. Schuldt’s strategy was to secure access to the brokerage and clearance business of numerous Flensburg shipping companies by obtaining small stakes in their business. In addition, a decade after its foundation, its customers not only included all of Flensburg’s shipping companies, importers and shippers, but also numerous other renowned companies in the ports along the long German coast. Thus, H. Schuldt remained the leading regional and national brokerage company in Flensburg until its relocation to Hamburg in 1933. The company not only ensured sufficient use of its own tonnage, but also worked for other shipping companies which valued the broad experience of the company. The business for Flensburg importers mainly comprised wood from Finland and Sweden, oil cakes from France, coal from Britain and rice from Burma.
Another milestone in the company’s history was the relocation in 1881 to the first company-owned residential and office building at Schiffbrücke 21, which housed the family, the company and outside apprentices.


1900 - 2014

With the construction of the North Baltic Canal and the succession of North-Schleswig to Denmark, the port of Flensburg began to lose importance. This resulted in a slow-down for the clearance business. The market for brokerage was already Hamburg. This was crucial in the decision to relocate the company to Hamburg. Accordingly, on 1 st May 1933, the offices at today’s Ballindamm 8 were occupied, and all the employees and apprentices followed the company. The company only moved to a new home in 1992 at Brooktor 11 in Hamburg Freeport.
The main focus of the activities was on using the company’s own tonnage, in particular with regard to basic loads for outgoing and returning scheduled shipping to the Mediterranean and to the US Gulf and the American Eastern Seaboard, and for the company’s own fleet of refrigerated ships. The exclusive refrigerated ship brokerage for a fruit trading enterprise with close connections to the company developed from this later. At the same time, a very active competitive chartering developed, which started in 1953 as a result of a contract with a German shipper for cars from the continent to Indonesia. The sailing school ships PAMIR and PASSAT were also regularly brokered by the company for their return trips to South America, sailing out with general cargoes and returning with cereals for the national reserve. This came to an end, however, with the tragic sinking of PAMIR near the Azores in September 1957.
Global contacts were increasingly developed, with a focus on the Balkans, in particular with Albania, Bulgaria and Romania, where loads and vessels belonging to local shipping companies were very successfully freighted. The corresponding loads ranged from wood and coal to fertilisers, cereals and general cargoes.
After the foundation of Deutsche Nah-Ost Linie DNOL, of which H. Schuldt was one partner through its Deutsche Orient Linie, H. Schuldt held the exclusive freightage for the line’s tonnage requirement and the freightage possibility for its ships, which was managed very successfully for many years.
With the Schuldt fleet’s change in focus in the 1980s to concentrate on container ships, the spin off company H. Schuldt Shipbrokers, founded in 2002, acquired further competence in container shipping with global contacts to major charterers, shipowners, shipyards, brokers and financing houses in the market.

In 2010 we opened our branch office H. Schuldt Shipbrokers Asia Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, providing us and our clients a 24/7 coverage of all shipping markets.