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Sartori & Berger (German Shipping Company)

Last modified: 2019-08-07 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: sartori&berger | ndc | neue dampfer-compagnie(kiel) | knudsen | knudsen&jordan |
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[Sartori & Berger Houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Feb 2007 See also:

Brief History

August Anton Heinrich Sartori (1837 - 1903) established a shipping agency and transport company in 1858. As he was not of full age then, he needed an adult and found the merchant Johann Albert Berger as his partner, who left the company due to a treaty in 1862, but his name remained part of the company's name. The company was mainly an agency, i.e. giving technical and commercial support of ships of the owners and started with one only own sailing ship. In 1868 the first steamer HOLSATIA was brought into service. Sartori became partner within "Kieler Dockgesellschaft". In 1884 Sartori & Berger already had 50 vessels, among those 21 steamships. In accordance with German Imperial Mail Sartori established a postal service between Kiel and Korsør (Denmark) . In order to provide his fleet with fuel, he acquired a timber company and a coal trading company. In 1895 agencies alongside the Kaiser-Wilhelm Canal (Kiel Canal) for transit service were established. In 1896 "Neue Damper-Companie" was established, which summarised tourist, ferry and tug services in Kiel. Furthermore Sartori established shipping lines to Göteborg, Stettin, Königsberg and Danzig. Beside shipping in the Baltic the company also started trading with East Asia. When he died in 1903, ship no. 79 was brought into service. August Ludwig Andreas Sartori became head of the company.
Despite of the change from sailing to steamships and the losses after WW!1 in the 3rd genearation, the number of ships increased to more than 100.
In the 1950s a new shipping line was established, the "Hamburg-Chicago-Line", connecting North European ports with the Great Lakes in Northern America. Due to increasing watergate rates and the expansion of the locks, this service, operated by special ships, was discontinued later. At the end of the 1960s Knud Broder Knudsen, a merchant and shipowner from Rendsburg, became owner of the company. He overhanded the management to his son Volkert Knudsen in 1970. Through the sale of older tonnage, newbuildings and purchases of ships a new modern fleet of cargo ships was established, which were engaged in a worldwide service. Before the break-down of the freight markets by the first global oil crisis, all ships could be sold up to the mid-1970s. The traditional shipping business was therefore discontinued. The reorientation of the activities shifted to services for shipping and transport and the expansion of a comprehensive network of branches in all German seaports and the Kiel Canal. On the occasion of the company’s 150th anniversary, Volkert Knudsen after a 40-year period overhanded over the management to his son Jens Broder Knudsen as shareholding managing director. Today, Sartori & Berger, with its successful employees, is active in port- and Kiel Canal agencies ,freight- and port agent for ferry lines and cruise lines, operates stevedoring, forwarding, customs clearance and warehousing, terminal operations, mooring and unmooring, is a project manager in the wind offshore sector and offers expertise in occupational safety and quality management. In 2015 the company expanded its network and opened its branch offices in Poland, is altogether located at nine bases alongside German coast from Bremerhaven to Sassnitz plus Stettin and Danzig/Gdingen in Poland.
2) Kiel WIKIhttp://
3) company subpage
4) company subpage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 July 2019

Sartori & Berger Houseflag

Sartori und Berger - It is a white flag divided by a red saltire. There are black capital letters "S" (hoist) and "B" (fly) and a black "&". in the centre of the flag.
Source: All images are based on own photos, spotted on 15 January 2007.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 15 Feb 2007

Sartori & Berger Numbered Flags

[Sartori & Berger #1]
image by Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 2004
[Sartori & Berger #4]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 May 2012
[Sartori & Berger #3]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 Mar 2009

The flag itself is a red saltire on white with the initials "S" and "B" on the hoist and fly quarters, respectively, a ""& centered and a date in the bottom quarter, all in black characters. All is clear except the second algarism of the date, which is smaller than the other three (1, 7 and 3). It seems to me to be a small "7". (see left image above). Due to a check in Lloyd 1912, p.66 the little "7" is clearly visible.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Dec 2004 and Jarig Bakker, 22 Dec 2004

this is interesting, as Brown's 1926 edition has just 1-77 at the bottom (see central image above)- home : Hamburg; Brown (1951) and Wolter (1968) have a bare bottom - home: Kiel. Loughran (1979) explains: "What made the houseflag unusual was that below the saltire, a number was included. This was different for each vessel, and denoted the ship's sequence of inclusion in the fleet. (he shows an example with just "51" in the bottom). The custom was discontinued in 1929, when some 77 ships had thus been enumerated."
In view of Jorge Candeias image and the image in Brown’s Flags and Funnels I have grave doubts about Loughran's use of the number of 51, as he has also Kiel as its homeport, which should have been Hamburg; only later it moved to Kiel (or as Loughran likes to misspell it: "Keil").
Source: Lloyds 1912 ; p.101 , flag no.1356
Jarig Bakker, 23 Dec 2004 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 May 2012

The debate on the original image provided by Jorge Candeias showing "1773" in base is, by several sources, shown to be in favour of the second character being a dash and not a little "7". Thus Lloyds 1904 shows "1.-73.", Lloyds 1912 and Brown 1926 and 1929 "1-77", and Reed 1912 "1-78".
The company originated in Kiel [Loughran by the way shows the correct spelling under the image if not in his general text] in 1858 and its head quarters are still there. In the late 1960s it was taken over by Knud Knudsen and is still a family concern under his son Volkert though they have since ceased shipowning and operating and are now ship brokers, agents and the like.
The flags with numbers were peculiar and unique to individual ships. 1773 as a ship number based on sequence in the fleet, or as a date, would seem to be out of things but as I have not seen the original source there may be another twist to things. Why they would use a system of "1-" followed by a sequence number I cannot figure. Version as shown by Klaus-Michael Schneider (see right image above) with a straight number "3" in the base is in line with that shown by Loughran and further support for this format can be seen here, where a painting of the steamer shows a flag with the number "40" though the detail does not include an "&" on the saltire.
Version (see top of page) by Klaus-Michael Schneider without numbers is of course the company flag and has no doubt flown all the time being shown by Griffin 1895, The Massary cigarette cards of 1930, Talbot-Booth from 1937, Brown in 1951 and Stewart in 1963 and is of course still flying above the company building.
Source: Lloyd 1933, p.16, image no. 105 (right image)
Neale Rosanoski, 11 June 2009 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 Mar 2009

Neue Dampfer-Compagnie (Kiel)

[Neue Dampfer-Compagnie, Kiel]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 26 Aug 2008
[Neue Dampfer-Compagnie Kiel, dotted]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 26 Aug 2008

The company has nothin to do with the namesake company based in Stettin. This obsolete page ( will help us out (again): The company was founded in 1896 to cash in on the growing ferry and waterborne transportation business at Kiel and its ships were nicknamed the "Black Steamers". As in the case of its competitor, Hafenrundfahrt, cattle were transported, and passengers! More versatile, NDC operated tugs as well.
According to this source, the fleet counted 29 steamers in 1911. After WW1 the fleet was systematically modernized thanks to the introduction of motor ships. But in 1941 the Kieler Verkehrs AG, precursor of SFK, was permitted by the authorities to absorb NDC.
The house flag was horiziontally divided red-white-red and bore black initials "NDC " in the white stripe without (see left image above) or with (see right image above) serifs and dots. Image found in Flaggenbuch 1928
Sources: Flaggenbuch 1928II (part 1), p.12, image no.155 (left) / Flaggenbuch 1905, part V, p.13, image no.123 and Lloyd 1933, p.13, image no.79 (right)
Jan Mertens, 26 Aug 2008

Neue Dampfer-Companie (NDC), later also Neue Dampfer Compagnie was established as Neue Damper-Companie by shipowner August Sartori in 1896.
The business was ferry service, tourist shipping and tugboats. The company had more than 29 vessels in 1911 and was also called the "Black Steamship Line", due to the colour of its ships.
First sail on the fjord was made by steamer KLAUS GROTH from Kiel via Seegarten and Bellevue to the pier at Holtenau Lighthouse. The service was extended to Friedrichsort later. In 1888 the steamers LABOE and STRANDE maintained a line to lightship Kiel. NDC was established due to the completion of Kaiser-Wilhelm-Canal and the following changes of traffic flow with following results: 1)Sartori & Berger had agencies alongside the canal and 2) the Black Steamer Line transported its employees to the canal. Thus NDC had been the predecessor of local mass transit shipping in Kiel, maintained by the shipping department of KVAG and later by its successor Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel
In 1905 the city of Kiel established as a city company Hafenrundfahrt AG (Harufag), which merged with NDC in 1938, and was renamed to Kieler Verkehrsaktiengesellschaft (KVAG) in 1939
Source: Kiel WIKI
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 20 July 2019

Knudsen Reederei

[Knudsen Reederei old]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 July 2019
[Knudsen Reederei]
image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 July 2019

The company was based in Rendsburg. The Knudsens were owners of Sartori amp;& Berger since the late 1960s.
The 1st flag was blue with a red lozenge touching the edges and a yellow "K" in the lozenge, this one probably being the old flag (see left image above). The 2nd flag (see right image above) was white, two black anchors in saltire fowled yellow and superimposed by a white shield fimbriated yellow and charged with a red open gate, the whole flanked by black initials "K" and "R". The gate is a simplified version of the Rendburg city arms, i.e. without inescutcheon and nettle leaf. The caption thus means either "Knudsen Reederei" or "Knudsen Rendsburg".
Source: Svante Domizlaff: "Sartori & Berger 1858-2008; 150 Jahre im Dienste der Schifffahrt"
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 July 2019

Knudsen & Jordan

[Knudsen & Jordan] image by Jarig Bakker, 13 Nov 2003

Here is the website of Knudsen & Jordan GmbH. The houseflag is white with a narrow flydiagonal line; at hoist blue "K", at hoist blue "J". The above mentioned Volkert Knudsen had also been owner, at least partial, of this Hamburg based company.
Dov Gutterman, 2 Nov 2003 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 July 2019

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