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Rhenus (German Shipping Company)

Rhenus AG & Co. KG, Holzwickede

Last modified: 2011-02-25 by editor unassigned
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[Rhenus houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 Jun 2006 See also:


An important Geman firm is Rhenus AG & Co. KG at Holzwickede near Dortmund airport: an important logistics group, grown out of an inland shipping company.  Website: “Rhenus is one of the leading providers of front-to-end logistics services in Europe. With 11,000 employees and a network of 200 locations in the industrial centers of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia, the logistics group offers comprehensive and innovative concepts for its customers.” (‘Locations’ meaning container terminals and other logistics centres, offices, ports, etc.)

Quote from timeline at ‘History’: “On November 13 1912, the two companies "Badische Actiengesellschaft für Rheinschiffahrt und Seetransport" (or Baden Ltd Co. for Rhine Shipping and Maritime Transport, jm) and "Rheinschiffahrts Actiengesellschaft" (or Rhine Shipping Ltd Co., jm) set up a joint company. The name they choose for the new company is the Latin word for the river that would carry their hopes and expectations from now on – "Rhenus", the Rhine.”

Some highlights from the history section: merger of above companies in 1929 to ensure their common survival during the economy crisis; part of VEBA group, 1934.  After WWII, introduction of the container and extension of logistics infrastructure. 1969, Hugo Stinnes AG taking over transport from VEBA, acquires Rhenus which two years later becomes AG and moves to Mannheim, to move again  in 1976 because of the ties with WTAG: Rhenus-WTAG AG, Dortmund (merger in 1984).  Restructurings during the following years after Schenker is added by Stinnes; in 1996, Schencker-Rhenus acquires Midgard.  Taken over by Rethmann AG & Co. two years later.  Schweizerische Reederei & Neptun AG (CH) taken over in 2000, the name Rhenus-Alpina reflecting this.  Expansion into Eastern Europe.

Expanding into all kinds of logistics undertakings (automotive industry, pharmaceutical supply chains, freighting, even public transport), Rhenus’ current importance quite transcends that of an inland navigation operator.

As for the house flag, see it on the ‘Antigoon’ and of course in the right flag row at the Bergeshövede shippers’ festivities: referring to the horizontally striped flag, blue-white-blue, with the blue stylized ‘L’ (meaning logistics?) in the middle, placed on a white square panel which is bordered in blue, the border itself fimbriated in white and extending into the horizontal stripes.

Image derived from an eBay offer (no. 6626853886, closed on 14 May ), which gave the dimensions as 93 cm by 155 cm.
As this flag is rather modern in shape, I suppose there must have been earlier versions but I have no idea what they looked like.
Jan Mertens, 8 Jun 2006

As explained by Klaus-Peter Bühne on his MarCollect page about new entries, the 'L' shape on the most recent house flag represents a ship (stylized):
The blue 'R' flag is the oldest, representing RHENUS AG, Basel (CH) whereas the black 'R' belongs to RHENUS AG, Mannheim (DE).
Not (yet) present in the collection is a version with a *red* initial 'R'.  It may have been intended for a foreign subsidiary, perhaps Rotterdam (jm theorizing again).
Incidentally this means that the sentence beginning with "The `Marcollect' site shows a collection..." and the following one may be struck as above comments (full credits to Klaus-Peter Bühne!) are more precise.
Jan Mertens, 6 Sep 2008

old Rhenus flag

[old Rhenus flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 14 Sep 2007

At the Binnenvaartsite is a Rhenus houseflag: blue with a white diamond with a black sanserif "R".
However, according to the same site is the ship Rhenus 125, owned by Rhenus Schiffahrt AG in Basel, Switzerland, now the Liberty Anne, woned by United Cruise in Arnhem.
Jarig Bakker, 14 Sep 2007

“Flaggen auf dem Rhein” (1952 ed.) confirms this on p. 61 by showing one and the same flag for:
- “Rhenus” Aktiengesellschaft für Schiffahrt und Spedition, Basel (i.e. Co. „Rhenus“  for Shipping and Forwarding, Ltd, Basle)
- Rhenus, Gesellschaft für Schiffahrt, Spedition und Lagerei m.b.H., Mannheim (i.e. Rhenus, Co. for Shipping, Forwarding and Warehousing Ltd, Mannheim).
Jan Mertens, 15 Sep 2007