CHINA Navigation Company has reached agreement with Hamburg Süd to acquire the latter’s bulk businesses.

These include the businesses Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO), Furness Withy Chartering and the bulk activities in Alianca Navegacão (Aliabulk).

Hamburg Süd’s bulk shipping business operates from Hamburg, Melbourne, London and Rio de Janeiro with a chartered fleet of about 45 vessels in the handysize, supra/ultramax and Kamsarmax/Panamax divisions.

“With this step, Hamburg Süd is focusing as planned on its liner business with its two container shipping brands, Hamburg Süd and Aliança,” said Hamburg Süd chief executive Dr Arnt Vespermann.

“As part of Maersk, the world’s largest liner shipping company, this clear focus is a logical step,” he said. “At the same time, CNCo is an established and well-respected company in bulk shipping that is on a growth course in this segment and therefore constitutes a good new home for RAO, Furness Withy and Aliança Bulk.”

Based in Singapore, CNCo is owned and operated as part of the multinational Swire Group.

The company employs around 2500 workers globally and owns and operates about 135 vessels, mainly  dry bulk carriers and multipurpose liner ships.


China Navigation Company managing director James Woodrow said CNCo was excited to have signed this acquisition.

“There are some very natural synergies between the businesses and we are delighted to acquire such an experienced and high-quality team and business that complements our own modern eco fleet and helps to develop our strategic expansion into the supra/ultramax segment,” he said.

“We share a strong corporate culture with a rich history spanning close to 150 years between Hamburg Sud (1871), The China Navigation Company (1872) and Furness Withy (1891) that demonstrates a shared vision and long-term commitment to the maritime industry.”

Closing of the agreement is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2019, however the parties have agreed not to disclose the sales prices.