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Maersk’s one hundred years in the USA

PETER MÆRSK departing New York on the USA-Asia service.

The first Maersk company in the United States was established on 7 July 1919 by ship-owner A.P. Møller. One hundred years. From steamships with a capacity equal to 325 containers to ultra large vessels with a capacity of 20,000 containers. From one office in Denmark to global representation.

Every decade of the past one hundred years has delivered milestones to the Maersk history – here’s a short run down of the most important developments in the United States.

In 1913, LAURA MÆRSK was the first Maersk vessel to call a port in the United States when she called Galveston, Texas, on 2 December – on charter to today’s Hamburg Süd. The first active engagement in the inter-American trade was established with two Maersk vessels in 1917, managed from Copenhagen.

Two years later, A.P. Møller teamed up with his cousin Hans Isbrandtsen and formed The Isbrandtsen-Moller Company Inc. Initially, ISMOLCO – the trading name – focused on chartering and brokerage, but the aim was to “settle down into permanent trades”.

First Maersk Line logo
The Maersk Line logo was introduced shortly after the first sailings.


It took nine years until the first major contract with a shipper was made. In 1928, Maersk Line was established based on an agreement with the Ford Motor Company about moving car parts to their assembly factory in Yokohama.

The first voyage on a Maersk Line service started on 12 July in Baltimore. By 1934, Maersk Line was making fortnightly sailings, but did not expand into new trades.



Source: Maersk Line


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