A. O. Andersen & Company Inc
THE important participation of Scandinavia in the maritime and commercial activities of international trade is everywhere recognized. Seafaring nations since the days of the Norsemen and Vikings, their flags continue to be familiar insignia in all the seven oceans.
Among the Scandinavian concerns that lead in Denmark and Norway and which are also promi-nently identified with the development of trade between those countries and the United States is that of A. O. Andersen & Co., Inc.
The firm of A. O. Andersen & Company originated in Copenhagen, Denmark, as managing owners of a large fleet of tramp steamers, which at that time were principally engaged in trading in the Baltic, the North Sea, and the Mediterranean. But after the inauguration of the world war and the manifold complications of European trade which resulted from it, the United States assumed a position of preponderating importance as a source of supply for international trade, and an originating market for many of the most important staples. Therefore, early in 1915, Mr. Arnold Reimann, representing the A. O. Andersen concern, arrived in this country to investigate the conditions here with a view to establishing the concern in connection with American trade. He travelled along the entire east coast of the United States, and after careful consideration of the facts thus learned he decided to establish business in New York City as American headquarters for the home concern. He associated with the business Mr. Frank K. Hitching, who is a specialist in all that pertains to shipping business on the West Coast.
Following these preliminary arrangements the A. O. Andersen concern placed a large number of shipbuilding contracts, chiefly with yards on the Pacific Coast, and thus financed several shipyards and enabled shipbuilders in establishing there the foundation of this almost new industry on that coast. The concern soon acquired large interests in this country, representing a large number of Scandinavian shipowners and managing their ves-sels in American trade. In May, 1916, an office was established in Portland, Oregon. Later that year Mr. A. Reimann took up residence in Portland, to look after the company's business there, and his brother, Vilhelm Reimann, succeeded him in charge of affairs at New York. At the same time Mr. Frank K. Hitching opened an office in San Francisco for the company.
At the present time the company has offices in Portland, managed by Mr. C. A. Edwards, Amer-ican-born, about forty-five years of age, who has had experience in the shipping, merchandise and banking business in London, Shanghai, Yokohama and New York. In Seattle, under the management of Mr. V. E. Gramley, American-born, age about thirty-five years, with experience in Chicago and on the Pacific Coast. In San Francisco, under the management of Mr. F. K. Hitching, who is of English birth, about thirty-seven years old, and for several years has been in the shipping business in London, New York and San Francisco. In New York, under the management of Mr. V. Reimann, born in Copenhagen in 1890, who has had experience in banking and the forwarding business in Hamburg, London and Paris.
Furthermore, there is in connection with A. O.
Andersen & Company, New York, the A. O. An-dersen Trading Company, under the management of Mr. Carl Jacobsen, born in 1890. This mercantile concern is building up a very active import and export business with Central and South America, the Far East and Europe. Mr. Jacobsen has been connected with this kind of business in Germany, France and Central America.
The head of the concern, Mr. A. Reimann, was born in Copenhagen in 1889, and has been con-nected with the forwarding business in Hamburg, Marseilles, Cardiff, Hull, before in 1911 he joined the Andersen interests in Copenhagen as chartering manager. Before coming to the United States Mr. Reimann was manager of the Chris- tiania office of A. O. Andersen & Company. At the present time he is the Special Representative of the Danish Special Shipping Committee (Danish Shipping Board) in the United States, and, as such, represents all the Danish shipping interests in this country.
With the return of peace the uncertainties and restraints of international trade have passed away and the firm of A. O. Andersen & Company, be-cause of the great completeness of its equipment and the wide comprehensiveness of its trade connections. The relations of the United States with the world's markets are being extended in every mportant port, because in the matter of natural resources and the ability to supply both agricultural products and manufactured goods the capacity of the United States exceeds that of any :her country.
The demand for tonnage in American ports, therefore, has more than kept pace with the in-crease of American-built tonnage, and they must continue, for years to come, to avail themselves of the service of independent steamers such as those in the large fleets controlled by A. O. Andersen & Company. The needs of the world for goods and manufactures of United States origin are very great and there is scarcely a country anywhere, and certainly none on the continent of Europe, which does not need many articles of commerce which are chiefly procurable from the United States.
The development of the business of this com-pany in this country, both at its New York and Pacific Coast offices, has been achieved by the excellence of its management and the close attention given to the business by the Messrs. Reimann and their associates in charge of the company's other offices. The strength of the company's connections in Europe and South America has also been of much value in establishing for it the high place it has gained in the business world.
It is through such aid as is given by such stropg and well-balanced shipping concerns as that of A. O. Andersen & Company that America is to achieve, with greater speed than many have anticipated, a place at or near the top of the world's commercial nations.
Of the European nations those of Scandinavia have been the quickest to grasp and understand the strategic importance of the United States as the growing figure in the realm of international trade. And it is precisely the Scandinavian nations which have been the largest contributors to America of men who have brought us knowledge of shipping methods and mastery of maritime problems.