Modern times

1890 - 1960

The family tradition was carried on when the two Röhlig brothers handed over the enterprise to the next generation. In 1913, Oskar Röhlig's son-in-law Karl Herwig became a partner, leading the company through tough times and onto new paths.

While the company grew under new leadership, the commerce and business worlds also underwent many changes. Customers' businesses were growing and freight was becoming more complex. However, Karl Herwig was a visionary pioneer leading the way with vital strategies. He established Röhlig as the preferred partner for loading companies and powerful manufacturers all over the country. The sea freight traffic between Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom became the company's core business. But World War I suddenly changed everything and trade was halted.

Karl Herwig rekindled relationships with the manufacturing industry and logistics partners, enabling Röhlig to slowly regain its former strength - until the course of history thwarted all prospects for the company once again. An era of the family business ended with the deaths of Oskar and Eduard Röhlig in 1929 and 1930 respectively. Then World War II destroyed the work of three generations as once again all trade came to a halt. Through joint efforts and hard work combining both old and new contacts, Röhlig got back on track again. Karl Herwig and his partner Alfred Backhus managed to steer the company through the 1950s and 1960s as Germany's leading international shipping company before passing it on to the fourth generation of leadership.

In 1956, the sons of Karl Herwig and Alfred Backhus, Oscar Herwig and Walther Backhus, were appointed partners, with Hans Schackow joining the company as managing partner. At this time, Röhlig had branches, offices and agencies across the globe - from Europe to the American continent, from Africa to the Middle East.