Former chairman and founder of Containership Agency, Inc., Rolf D. Hartmann, died on Sunday, March 17, 2002, at his home in Manesota Key, Fla. He was 68 years old.
Originally from Bremen, Germany, Hartmann descends from long line of family ship owners and operators. His father was founder and director of F.W. Hartmann & Co., Inc., which provided steamship agency and related services, and his grandfather was Managing Director of Hansa Line of Germany.
Rolf Hartmann graduated from Phillips Exeter and Harvard University. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard as a commissioned officer, he spent his entire career in the U.S. shipping industry.
Founder of Containership Agency, Inc., an agent for foreign steamship companies, he served as its president and CEO beginning in 1971. Under his direction, the company grew to represent a substantial group of steamship lines in the U.S. that included Bottachi Line of Argentina, Empremar of Chile, Atlantica, Neptune Orient Line, Italian Line, Blue Star Line, and Mediterranean Shipping Company.
During his long tenure as CEO of Containership Agency, Inc., the predecessor of Mediterranean Shipping Co. (USA) Inc., Mr. Hartmann was instrumental in hiring most of the senior executives and employees still working at MSC (USA) today. He also served on various volunteer boards both before and after his retirement.
“Our industry has lost a leader, highly respected for his uncompromising moral and professional integrity,” said Nicola Arena, president of MSC (USA) Inc. “He was a mentor and friend, and our most profound condolences go out to his family, and to his brother, our Director, Peter Hartmann.”