Innovative and tradition-conscious
Bertram Rickmers leaves the family firm in Bremerhaven and goes into business in Hamburg as a shipbroker and shipowner with establishing his first company, MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting, the nucleus of Rickmers Group. In 1985, the main operating company of Rickmers Group was established.
Hapag-Lloyd takes over the remaining shares of Rickmers-Linie after a purchase of a 70-percent share already in 1974. Rickmers-Linie thereby becomes a 100 percent subsidiary.
In 1989 Rickmers-Linie takes over the Hapag-Lloyd “Multipurpose Service” from Europe to Indonesia/South East Asia. Thus, all multipurpose services of Hapag-Lloyd are now operated by Rickmers-Linie.
1992 - 1996
Bertram and Erck Rickmers establish Nordcapital, an investment house. Differences prompt Bertram Rickmers to sell his shares in Nordcapital to his brother Erck in 1996. In the same year Bertram founds Rickmers Holding.
Rickmers-Linie purchases the three multipurpose vessels BIBI, MERIDA and LEON with gear up to 250 tons. After dockings in 2004 the vessels emerge as RICKMERS DUBAI, RICKMERS MUMBAI and RICKMERS CHENNAI, reflecting the service they are running to the Middle East and India. They leave the fleet in 2009.
As a result of the great expansion of the Rickmers fleet with the realisation of more than 30 newbuildings, the subsidiary company Atlantic is founded.
Also in 1998 two heavy-lift multipurpose vessels with lifting capacity of 450 tons, RICKMERS TIANJIN and RICKMERS HOUSTON, join the Rickmers-Linie fleet.
The Rickmers Reederei’s first car carriers, KORA RICKMERS and NORA RICKMERS join the fleet with a capacity of 4.807 cars and a maximum speed of 19 knots.
Bertram Rickmers re-purchases Rickmers-Linie from Hapag-Lloyd. He had previously secured sole rights to the use of the Rickmers flag. Nine newly designed Superflex Heavy MPC vessels are ordered.
After delivery of the sixth vessel in June, Rickmers-Linie announces the official start of its revolutionary eastbound Round-The-World Pearl String Service. Fortnightly departures from the main ports of service offer completely new possibilities of cargo-flow.
The companies and shareholdings surrounding Rickmers Reederei, Rickmers-Linie and Atlantic are integrated as a corporate group under the umbrella of Rickmers Holding.
Also in 2004, the charter of the ships BIBI, MERIDA and LEON, which have been deployed in various services of Rickmers-Linie since 1996, are extended for three years. After docking the vessels emerge as RICKMERS DUBAI, RICKMERS MUMBAI and RICKMERS CHENNAI, reflecting the service they are running to the Middle East and India. These vessels leave the fleet again in 2009.
Rickmers Shipmanagement (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. is founded. Rickmers Immobilien is founded to acquire and manage real estate assets for the Rickmers Group.
Rickmers (Japan) Inc. is founded and the U.S.-Asia westbound service is re-established.
Rickmers Maritime is established - a business trust under the laws of Singapore managed by Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd. as its trustee manager.
Also in 2007, Rickmers (Korea) Inc. is founded and Rickmers-Linie invests in terminal shareholding in Hamburg and Antwerp.
2010 - 2011
Rickmers takes delivery of eight 13,100 TEU container vessels, the largest ships in the fleet.
The Europe-Middle East/India service of Rickmers-Linie receives new tonnage (LINDE, MARTIN, BALTIC WINTER, RICKMERS YOKOHAMA and RICKMERS TIANJIN).
Rickmers Group introduced new segmentation, disposal of real estate business and merger of Pacific Holdings International into Rickmers Holding. Since 2011 the Rickmers Group has been strategically repositioning in preparation for accessing capital markets.
In December 2011 Rickmers-Linie and Maersk Line, Limited, a company headquartered in the USA, form a joint venture offering sea transportation of project cargoes under the U.S. flag under the name 'Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project Carrier'.
Rickmers-Linie is launching its Westbound Round-The-World Service, connecting areas of economic growth in Asia and South America and then on to North America. The America-Asia westbound service established in 2006 now forms a part of this new service.
On 1 January 2013, Rickmers-Linie opens its own office in Singapore under the name Rickmers-Linie (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Rickmers Group completes its first corporate bond issuance in June 2013 and subsequently issues increases.
In 2013 Rickmers enters into a joint venture with funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and also enters into a contract for commercial and technical shipmanagement services for vessels owned by Oaktree Capital Management.
The strategic repositioning continues: Rickmers Group commences the restructuring of the Rickmers-Linie segment and adopts IFRS for its 2013 consolidated financial statements.
Rickmers Group invests in three newbuild container ships with a capacity of 9,300 TEU each in April 2015. This is the Group’s first investment in newbuild container ships since the Lehmann collapse led to the world wide financial crisis.The total investment volume amounts to roughly 260 million US dollars. Under an integrated financial concept Rickmers makes the investment jointly with a renowned bank and an international financial investor.
For all three vessels long-term charter contracts have been agreed with the French company CMA CGM, the world’s third-biggest container shipping line.
Rickmers Group refinances the majority of its outstanding bank debt, implements IAS 34 for reporting of the first and third quarter and changes its legal form from limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft) to stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft). The entry Rickmers Holding AG in the commercial register marks the successful completion of major parts of the long term transformation process of the Group.
On March 31, 2017 the Rickmers Group sold the entire operating business of Rickmers-Linie and the entire operating business of MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting to the ZEABORN Group.
Bertram R.C. Rickmers still is privately involved as a minority shareholder in the new owner company of the sold business activities.
On May 31, 2017 the management board of Rickmers Holding AG was forced to file for insolvency after the Board of HSH Nordbank AG had surprisingly denied approval of a term sheet regarding the financial restructuring of the Rickmers Group.
The insolvency application applies solely to the holding company Rickmers Holding AG. The operating subsidiaries – in particular Rickmers Shipmanagement Hamburg and Singapore – are not affected and are working normally. Business and shipping operations are continuing.