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Van Ameyde Krogius Celebrates 150 Years

Read time: 6 minutes

Krogius is one of the oldest maritime transport companies in Finland. Lars Krogius left his civil service studies in 1850 to embark on a career at sea. As a young sailor his life was full of adventure and he eventually he became captain, got married and his first three children were born at sea far away from Finland. In 1871 Lars Krogius decided to come ashore and established the company in Helsinki the next year 1872. In the beginning the services provided by the company were steamship agency, clearing of vessels and forwarding. The first office location of Krogius was at the South Harbour area next to the Market Square where fish and other food product trade was taking the place.

First office of Krogius at Eteläinen Makasiinikatu 2

The South Harbour of Helsinki in the 1870’s

In 1893 Lars Krogius was still a small company, but during those first 20 years of existence it had obtained a good reputation in Finland and abroad as well. That year, Krogius was appointed as Lloyd’s Agent in Helsinki; a title held to this day. One main duty of the Lloyd’s Agent was to supply the insurance industry in London with local shipping information and details of casualties. As it can be imagined, in the 1890s a Lloyd’s Agent had to have good contacts to be able to collect the information about vessel movements and incidents. Lars Krogius was found from the first telephone directory of Helsinki and even nowadays, the duty phone number is the key contact to us in emergency cases.

Lloyd’s Agency Appointment Letter from 1893

First telephone directory in the newspaper Uusi Suimetar in 1882

After Lars Krogius senior, his son Lars Krogius junior succeeded his father as Managing Director for the next few years. After Lars Krogius junior, his brother Ernst Krogius was Managing Director of Lars Krogius for 58 years, until the year 1951. During Ernst’s management times the company began to move into new business areas and the company’s forwarding activities expanded strongly. Following the Second World War Krogius had offices all over Finland and it had over 200 employees.

Office in Turku

Office in Rovaniemi

Newspaper advertisement of Hanko office services, including ice status report for Kotka and Hanko Ports

From the old case records of Krogius it is interesting to see that many companies serviced back then are still the company’s business partners today. From the 1960s case records we found that Krogius surveyors were involved in the fire case of M/S Finnhansa. This ferry became damaged by fire during the fitting out phase at the shipyard in Helsinki. Heavy smoke covered the whole southern part of the city. This incident initiated the creation of marine personnel firefighting training in Finland.

Survey and claims records of Oy Lars Krogius Ab from the 1960’s

1965 – M/S Finnhansa was damaged by fire at Hietalahti

In 1972 Krogius celebrated our 100 year anniversary and introduced a new logo. The ‘knot’ logo was designed by graphic designer Helge Mether – Borgström and used by the company until 2020.

In 1985 Krogius family members sold the majority of their shares and this was the end of Krogius’ history as a family company. After restructuring, some services were no longer conducted by Krogius, like the removal services and ferry line service.

1966-1986, Krogius Removals Service

1989 – 1990, Krogius Ferry Service between Hanko and Kiel

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1989, the company expanded into the Baltic States and Russia. The 21st century has seen Oy Lars Krogius Ab focused on the development of the survey and claims management operations. Krogius established automotive logistics surveys and claims expert teams supporting the expansion of valued clients to countries where it operated. In 2005 Krogius also started to provide claims handling and survey services in Ukraine. Further expansion in the Baltic Sea region took place in 2008 when Krogius acquired a survey and claims management company in Denmark and another survey and claims management company in Sweden in 2009. On the same year Krogius also started a joint venture with Dutch company Van Ameyde in the field of non-marine claims handling in Finland. A new business line, cross-border motor claims management, was started in Finland and in the Baltic States by Krogius. This partnership resulted in Krogius becoming a fully owned part of the Van Ameyde Group in 2015, thus mutually strengthening the marine surveying and motor claims management networks.

 

2018, Lloyd’s Agency 125 year anniversary celebration event hosted by Krogius in Helsinki

Krogius has been a Lloyd’s Agent in Helsinki since 1893, celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018. Over the years, the appointment has been extended for example to Copenhagen region in Denmark and the Republics of Estonia and Lithuania.

Krogius is also endorsed as P&I Correspondents by several P&I Clubs and has served Clubs and their members in the continually evolving liability environment for decades. Krogius is a member of EPIC, European P&I Correspondent Companies. The intention of this group is to co-operate together to provide a high-quality service to meet the needs of the Maritime and Transport industry in the 21st Century.

2020, Artwork by Van Ameyde Krogius staff in Tallinn after the re-branding and launch of new look and feel of the company

Since 2020 the company has been known by the name Van Ameyde Krogius after the re-branding and development of Van Ameyde Marine network. Van Ameyde Marine is the leading global marine surveying network, offering all-inclusive, 24/7 services with a growing number of in-house marine specialists. For further information, we have an introduction video accessible from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGFGwfoSlBQ

This year we will celebrate the anniversary year by sharing stories, presenting in exhibitions as well as by attending and organizing in-person events which are finally possible after the release of the pandemic related restrictions. Please keep a look-out for our e-mail newsletters, website and LinkedIn profile to hear more and join our celebration!

 

Hanna Kivelä

Managing Director

Van Ameyde Krogius

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