Ship’s Boy to Executive Board
Hapag-Lloyd executive board member Adolf Adrion is retiring at the end of the year after over 50 years with the company.
“Adolf Adrion is leaving us as a shipping expert who put his excellent expertise and experience in the service of Hapag-Lloyd for more than 50 years and also assumed many honorary posts in the maritime industry. It was only fitting that he was accepted into the Maritime Hall of Fame this year,” declared Michael Behrendt, chairman of the executive board of Hapag-Lloyd AG, on the occasion of the official farewell, attended by close on 200 invited guests, including customers, partners and vendors from all over the world.
After attending navigation school, Adolf Adrion started his career as a deck boy on a Hapag general cargo ship on August 14th 1957. He acquired his master’s certificate in 1966 and then served as 1st officer. Following the merger of Hapag and North German Lloyd to form Hapag-Lloyd, Adolf Adrian remained on shore, where he was initially responsible for contracts with container terminals. A short time later, he assumed responsibility for the container service.
In 1983, he was appointed head of services with Indonesia. From 1986, he was responsible for Region Europe. On March 1st 2004, Adolf Adrion was appointed to the executive board of Hapag-Lloyd AG and given responsibility for the operative business of container shipping. In this phase, CP Ships was acquired by Hapag-Lloyd and successfully integrated.
“Hapag-Lloyd is certainly very special and took a place in my life that often put my private interests in the background,” commented Adrion. He added that the fact that the company will remain independent was the finest gift on his retirement. He noted that in retrospect containerization had certainly been a milestone, and the development of communications, along with the improved IT, had brought great progress. Adrion is convinced that one thing has remained unchanged despite all the innovations: “The technology has improved, but the business continues to be determined by personal relationships.”
Adrion has always promoted the interests of the shipping sector in general. He was chairman of the Far Eastern Freight Conference and World Shipping Council and remains chairman of the Box Club, the members of which are the top global container lines. He has represented the interests of the maritime sector in various international bodies and helped shape developments.
Adrion handed over the operative business at mid-year to his executive board colleague Ulrich Kranich, thus ensuring a smooth transition. Kranich has held various posts at Hapag-Lloyd in Germany and overseas since 1975. He was appointed as member of the executive board with effect from July 1, 2006. He has been responsible for the operative shipping area since June 2008.