The year was 1914

Over the course of 100 years, Maersk Broker have grown into a worldwide organisation present in 15 countries with around 240 employees.

In the first days of January 1913, A.P. Møller established his own offices in the old stock exchange in Copenhagen. Initially, the activities included management of the fleets and the business of The Steamship Company Svendborg and The Steamship Company of 1912.

The framework for today’s Maersk Broker was laid down in 1914 when A.P. Møller took out a licence to trade in his own name as a merchant. He established two separate broker companies namely A.P. Møller Køb & Salg (A.P. Møller Sale and Purchase) and Befragtning & Klarering (Chartering & Agency). These activities were independent from the two steamship companies – today we would say that the activities were operated at arm’s lengths.

The chartering and sale and purchase departments were integral parts of the shipping company management organisations. However, in terms of accounts, contracts and staff – all the formalities – the activities were kept aside. Over the course of a century, Maersk Broker have existed as an independent company. To this day, the Møller family is still the private owner.

To begin with, the entire staff consisted of five employees who worked out of offices in Copenhagen’s old stock exchange building.

T.C. Christensen was the first manager of Befragtning & Klarering. The chartering activities included finding cargo for the Steamship Companies’ and A.P. Møller’s own ships, but they also did competitive chartering at the same time. They served as brokers for the Rio Tinto Company finding tonnage for the transportation of iron ore from the city Huelva in Spain to primarily British harbours. The ship agency activities, on the other hand, primarily focused on ships of the Maersk Fleet that called into Danish ports or were passing by sailing in and out of the Baltic area.

A.P. Møller Køb & Salg was managed by Niels Bonnesen, and this business area was also doing well from the start with a great number of deals during 1914.  
T.C. Christensen left the company in 1919 to pursue his own shipping career, while Niels Bonnesen was in charge of A.P. Møller Køb & Salg until he retired.

100 years and moving on

Ane M. M. Uggla, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Maersk Broker K/S

Our centenary is a milestone, indeed. We shall duly mark it as a milestone, but really it is a stepping stone.

This is how our founder would have seen it and as we continue his work, our milestone will make an imprint from where we move on. Looking forward, seeing new possibilities in a changing world.

In his more than 60 years of business life Mr. A.P. Møller, my father’s father, preferred not to celebrate his many milestones and accomplishments – not always in agreement with his surroundings! And therefore we take the liberty today of celebrating with our colleagues, with our clients.

In 1914, Mr. A.P. Møller set up a firm adding brokerage and the sale and purchase of ships to the activities, which already included fleet management and operation.
This was the beginning of today’s Maersk Broker.

Upon my grandfather’s death in 1965, my father Mr. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, assumed the chairmanship of Maersk Broker.

Our heritage and our commitments being the focus of our centenary, I would like to express that the engagement of the founding family is intact – always remembering the origin of our values: how we live them, how we do business.

And thanking our dedicated management, staff, clients and business associates for a truly unique voyage.

Let us set sails for the next 100 years!

Maersk Broker Quarterly Newsletter, April 2014.