With strength and experience.
Transport Magazine

With strength and experience.

The Bremen IV finds a new haven.

A model ship needs to relocate: this is clearly a task for two very particular experts: the logistics company Hasenkamp, a Cologne‑based firm specialising in art and unique items, and, of course, the Atego.

The Blue Riband – during the golden era of commercial passenger ships, few other awards were more coveted: if a ship set a new speed record between Europe and New York, it would win the trophy – and with it, fame and customers. In 1929, the award was won by the Bremen IV, which belonged to the company Norddeutscher Lloyd. The passengers on board travelling from Wilhelmshaven were able to set foot on New York soil after just four days at sea. And, around 90 years later, one model of the ship moved “ports” from one Bremen museum to another in just four hours. The move was facilitated by Hasenkamp, a logistics company that specialises in transporting valuable items of any kind.

4

the number of days it took for the “Bremen IV” in 1929 to sail from Wilhelmshaven to New York – a record.

Content hasenkamp 01

The Bremen IV won the Blue Riband in 1929 for setting a new speed record for the transatlantic crossing.

Hasenkamp has absolutely everything in its portfolio, from marble statues weighing several tonnes and complex transfers of extensive collections – such as from the Louvre in Paris to its counterpart in Abu Dhabi in 2017 – to the transfer of entire offices, IT systems, laboratories and file archives. This puts it on a another level compared with standard transport operations. As a result, this logistics company has earned a worldwide reputation in the art and museum scene.

In Bremen, where the Bremen IV was to change location, it was precisely this experience that was called upon. When Hasenkamp received the order, only the general framework conditions were clear. “No one could tell us how much the nearly four metre‑long ship weighed, whether it was hollow or solid, or how sensitive the structure was,” says Anton Sindilj. “And no one knew when and how it was last moved.” Anton is one of eight art inspectors who work for Hasenkamp in house. His job: to detect anything that would impede the item from reaching its destination safely.

Content hasenkamp 02

Sindilj examined the stairs in the museum, counted steps, and measured corners and doors. However, finding out the weight of the ship remained a puzzle: it could have weighed fifty kilograms or several hundred. In the end, the specialist arranged for six carriers and a Mercedes‑Benz Atego.

On the morning of the transportation, Arno Büchel and Steffen Säwe also arrive in the Atego. The two of them together make for an experienced team. “We always have two people in the cab”, explains Arno. “Our vehicle has an air conditioning system, 12 bar air suspension and an alarm system. All for the artwork!” The item will be placed in the shipping crate, which is produced in the company’s own joinery workshop. “We produce everything here, from the simple protective packaging to the fire‑resistant temperature‑controlled box”.

The rest of the helpers arrive by car. They have arrived from Cologne, where Hasenkamp’s headquarters are located. The company has 13 subsidiaries in Germany alone as well as another 19 in Europe and a further five in Asia and the Middle East.

“The Atego has an air conditioning system, air suspension and alarm system. Everything for the artwork.”

Arno Büchel, driver at Hasenkamp logistics company

Hasenkamp has been a family‑owned business since it was first founded in 1903. Thomas Schneider is a member of the fifth generation of the family working at the company. Reminiscing about the first shipping projects he helped with, he says: “As a teenager, I had the opportunity to take part in the packing process for the transportation of the Terracotta Army in Xian. I have been a part of some absolutely fascinating transportation operations involving a huge array of items, from artefacts thousands of years old that had been discovered in sunken cities close to Alexandria to the Bernward Column in Hildesheim cathedral. This gives you an appreciation of the immeasurable value of art at a very early stage. That’s why every one of our 70 drivers in Cologne receives further training as an Art Technician.”

In Bremen, six of these transport specialists arrive at the museum, where they are greeted by the staff in charge of the collections. And then the work begins! The carriers are wearing dark blue sweaters and white fabric gloves. Gently and carefully, the ship is made ready for transportation and secured with tension straps.

Content hasenkamp 03
Content hasenkamp 04

100

the number of kilograms that the transport crate alone weighs. The model ship itself weighs more than 150 kilograms.

The first goal is to reach the ground floor, where the wooden crate is waiting. To get here, the removal team must successfully navigate a narrow staircase containing 60 steps. Lifting the ship is hard physical work: Anton Sindilj estimates it to weigh “around 150 to 200 kilos”. His arrangements for a six‑person team for manoeuvring the ship were spot on. Step by step, the team works its way forwards. “Stop! Back! Set it down!” The team correctly responds to every command and everything runs smoothly. The ship lands safely in its wooden haven.

Content hasenkamp 05

Whatever you do, don’t bump into anything! This one‑of‑a‑kind artefact is irreplaceable.

Content hasenkamp 07

Whatever you do, don’t bump into anything! This one‑of‑a‑kind artefact is irreplaceable.

Content hasenkamp 08

Whatever you do, don’t bump into anything! This one‑of‑a‑kind artefact is irreplaceable.

Content hasenkamp 09

With thorough preparation and lots of experience: this is how you move artworks and valuable artefacts.

Content hasenkamp 10

All transport crates are produced in the Hasenkamp joinery workshop.

Content hasenkamp 11

All transport crates are produced in the Hasenkamp joinery workshop.

Content hasenkamp 12

All transport crates are produced in the Hasenkamp joinery workshop.

 

Content hasenkamp 13

All transport crates are produced in the Hasenkamp joinery workshop.

Content hasenkamp 14

All transport crates are produced in the Hasenkamp joinery workshop.

“With the crate, the construction weighs an extra 100 kilograms.”

Anton Sindilj, Art Inspector at Hasenkamp logistics company

While the ship is being secured with cushions, bubble wrap and straps, a colleague brings the versatile Atego as close to the museum door as possible, using just a few manoeuvres. This makes loading the crate into the storage compartment a cinch. Albeit a heavy one! “With the crate, the construction weighs an extra 100 kilograms”, pants Anton.

Then the removal pro Atego glides safely and – thanks to the air suspension – comfortably through Bremen’s urban traffic, ensuring a smooth journey for cargo and crew alike.

Content hasenkamp 15

Teamwork and muscles: Concentration is also needed to load the crate into the vehicle.

Content hasenkamp 16

Teamwork and muscles: Concentration is also needed to load the crate into the vehicle.

Content hasenkamp 17

Teamwork and muscles: Concentration is also needed to load the crate into the vehicle.

Content hasenkamp 18

Hasenkamp needs the right equipment for its trucks. It also needs a safe journey,... and this is where the Atego comes in!

Specialist drivers.

At Hasenkamp, all drivers receive advanced training as Art Technicians in the in‑house training centre. For insurance reasons, there are always two drivers in the truck and they never stay overnight at service stations with the loads, taking breaks only at the company’s own branches or at partner companies.

Special trucks.

The art and cultural heritage fleet in Cologne has around 100 trucks, around half of which come from Mercedes‑Benz. All of the vehicles – the vast majority of which are Actros and Ategos – are equipped with an air conditioning and heating system in the hold and have air suspension and GPS tracking. An alarm safety device and an emergency switch for silent alarms are also standard.

Special warehousing.

Hasenkamp has its own storage facilities which are located at sites all over Europe. For example, at its Cologne headquarters, it has dedicated 18,000 square metres to artworks alone, with air‑conditioned high‑security areas, motion detectors and a complex access control system.

Special workshop.

Hasenkamp employs carpenters, locksmiths, welders and restorers for the production of tailor‑made packaging. The company’s prototypes are regularly tested by the Fraunhofer Institute and TÜV Rheinland.

Content hasenkamp 19

Arriving at the Focke Museum. The transportation will take a total of four hours.

Content hasenkamp 20

Arriving at the Focke Museum. The transportation will take a total of four hours.

Content hasenkamp 21

Arriving at the Focke Museum. The transportation will take a total of four hours.

 

Content hasenkamp 22

Arriving at the Focke Museum. The transportation will take a total of four hours.

After almost four hours, the ship has been safely installed in its new location. On the port side, the lettering “Bremen IV” glitters in the warm sunlight streaming in through the window. The filigree mast stands proudly as it did before. The golden cords that serve as the ship’s ropes rest safe and sound in their place. The team smiles with satisfaction. Yet again, Hasenkamp has remained true to its motto: “The best thing that can happen to art is nothing!”

Content hasenkamp 23

A magnificent piece for the collection: the Bremen IV at its new location.

Photos: Sebastian Vollmert