The year is 1999. ThyssenKrupp was seeking to divest itself of anything that did not form part of its core business during the steel crisis. This included the logistics division, which had been pooled within Nestrans GmbH since 1990. Our parent company Imperial Holdings Limited took over Nestrans GmbH from ThyssenKrupp in 1999. As a result, the logistics business at our parent company took on an international character. It was therefore appropriate to pool all our business activities outside Africa under the name Imperial Logistics International, which has its headquarters in Duisburg.
The long-standing, Duisburg-based Haniel family business underwent a process of restructuring at the end of the 1990s, in a way similar to ThyssenKrupp. In this case, Haniel moved away from inland waterway transport operations to focus more on services and trade. Imperial Logistics International proved to be a suitable new owner for the shipping units at Haniel in 2003 – and they had included the units of Krupp’s former inland waterway shipping company since 1999. This marked the start of the Imperial Shipping Group, which is now part of the Imperial Transport Solutions division.
Four other legal units formed part of the deal too: what was then known as Panopa Verkehrs GmbH, which had been founded in 1955, and had belonged to Nestrans since 1990; a majority holding in neska Speditions- und Schiffahrtkontor GmbH, in which ThyssenKrupp had a 65 percent shareholding; a stake in the Hamburg shipping broker Brouwer Shipping & Chartering GmbH; and the freight forwarding company, J.H. Bachman, which was sold again in 2005.
The takeover of Lehnkering in 2012 added other special vessels to the fleet: gas and chemical tankers. Lehnkering enabled Imperial Logistics International to consolidate its foothold in the chemical logistics business.
Operating under the umbrella of Imperial Logistics International, our independent brands developed at a rapid pace. Panopa became the third-party logistics service partner for well-known German automotive manufacturers across Europe, the steel sector and machinery and equipment. Panopa’s position in the automotive sector was strengthened in 2005 with the purchase of the Gillhuber Group and the takeover of the Hansmann freight forwarding company based in Wolfsburg three years later.
The Imperial shipping company, now incorporated in the Shipping business unit in the Imperial Transport Solutions division, has already moved far beyond Europe’s borders and operates on the Rio Paraná and Rio Paraguay rivers between Brazil and Argentina with push-boat units that are 280 metres long.
Neska found a new owner in Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG in October 2015.
Today our portfolio of services is pooled within the Imperial Transport Solutions and Imperial Supply Chain Solutions divisions. Above stands our corporate brand Imperial Logistics International for a broad overall portfolio of efficient, individual logistics solutions.