Gaby Bornheim to be new president of the German Shipowners’ Association

VDR’s Board of Directors elects successor to Captain Alfred Hartmann

At its meeting today, the Board of Directors of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) elected Gaby Bornheim, Managing Director of Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, the association’s new president. As planned, this brings an end to the tenure of Captain Alfred Hartmann, who has led the association since the beginning of 2015. After seven years in this honorary position, the 74-year-old did not stand for re-election.

Bornheim is a lawyer with a doctorate in law. As managing director, she has been jointly responsible for successfully managing Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, one of the largest German shipping companies, for many years. Founded in 1956 and headquartered in Hamburg, the company has roughly 5,000 employees worldwide at sea and on land. A fleet of approximately 500 vessels – including 400 container ships as well as bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels – is under its commercial management, and 120 of these are also under its technical management.

Bornheim is the first women to hold the position of president of the VDR in the association’s 114-year history.

“I am very pleased that Gaby Bornheim was elected,” said outgoing President Alfred Hartmann. “I am certain that my successor will do an excellent job leading the association and continuing to vigorously represent the interests of Germany’s maritime shipping sector at both the national and international levels.” 

“I would like to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence it has in me,” Bornheim said after the election. “The challenges ahead of us are great, such as decarbonisation, generating enthusiasm among young people to pursue a career in shipping, and boosting Germany’s competitiveness as a shipping hub vis-à-vis its competitors abroad.”

The VDR’s new president also stressed: “Together with Germany’s new federal government, the VDR and its member companies will confront these challenges swiftly and proactively. The past year has shown us all that Germany needs shipping and well-functioning maritime trade routes. We will provide impetus for Germany’s maritime shipping sector to continue to operate in a climate-friendly and competitive manner with on-shore and at-sea personnel who are excellently trained and fit for the future.”


About the German Shipowners’ Association
The German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) is responsible for representing the common business and social policy interests of German shipping companies at federal and state government level as well as in relation to European and international bodies. Founded in 1907, the VDR merged with the Association of German Coastal Shipowners in 1994. With a membership of around 220, the VDR represents the majority of Germany’s merchant fleet. For more details, visit​ www.reederverband.de.

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