History ‹Vereinigte Bootleute›

125. Jähriges Firmenjubiläum

Founded in September 1877 the Vereinigte Bootleute are Hamburg’s oldest service provider in the field of mooring services. This was at the same time, for example, the shipyard at Blohm + Voss began operating, our close neighbour on the southern banks of the river Elbe, and the first game, set and match were played at Wimbledon.

What started as a working group was an association of “individual mooring operators”, who joined forces instead of battling each other for customers with their boathooks alongside the vessels, as they had usually done before then. This was because the guiding principle at the time was “first come, first served”.

The name Vereinigte Bootleute also originated at these times and is still in use today.

From this original association an independent enterprise was created eventually, which resulted in the establishment of another one, the Hamburg Boatmen Association, in 1953. As it had done so back in 1877, it once again joined forces with the companies of Wilhelm Helm, Max Meyn and Horst Barghusen GmbH 76 years later.

This strategy has proven successful to this day, as a port as important as Hamburg with its busy traffic, every conceivable type of vessel and numerous berths and mooring facilities certainly requires service providers with expertise and the background to be able to ensure the safety and efficiency of shipping traffic at all times.

The business has always been family owned and owner-managed.

Co-founded by Jakob Brockmann (1886–1958), the company was subsequently taken over by his son Hans Brockmann (1916–1992), who in turn passed it on to his son-in-law, Detlef Ramm. Hans Brockmann was the proud father of two daughters.

Since 2011 and now managed in its fourth generation by Frederik Heinrich, a trained shipping merchant who has worked at the company since 2004, the Vereinigte Bootleute have a positive view of the future.


VBL Büro auf dem Ponton, direkt an der Elbe


History of the Port of Hamburg

Founded on 7 May 1189 by Frederick I for its strategic location, it has been Central Europe's main port for centuries and enabled Hamburg to develop early into a leading city of trade with a rich and proud bourgeoisie. During the age of the Hanseatic League from the 13th to 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck in terms of its position as a central trading node for sea-borne trade. With discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports. During the second half of the 19th century, Hamburg became Central Europe's main hub for transatlantic passenger and freight travel, and from 1871 onward it was Germany's principal port of trade. In her time the Hamburg America Line was the largest shipping company in the world.

St. Pauli Piers Hamburg

The Landungsbrücken today form a central transportation hub, with S-Bahn, U-Bahn and ferry stations, and are also a major tourist magnet with numerous restaurants and departure points for harbour pleasure boats. There is an entrance to the Old Elbe tunnel at the western end of the Landungsbrücken. The eastern end of the building complex is marked by the Pegelturm (water level tower).