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Harpen (German Shipping Company)

Harpen Transport A.G. (HTAG); Harpener Bergbau

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
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[Harpen Transport AG] image by Jarig Bakker, 17 Jun 2007 See also:

Harpen Transport AG

‘HTAG Häfen und Transport AG’ (or ‘Harpen Transport AG’ as it was called till 2004) is a German logistics company active in inland navigation and related areas.  Homepage (English version via Union Jack), the url revealing where the head office is situated: Owned by the similarly named ‘Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG’ – again laying stress on ports and transport -  HTAG has a number of subsidiaries in Germany and other countries offering chartering, shipping, and handling services.

In addition, the related firm ‘Bunkerbetriebe Büchting GmbH’ is active in the Rhine area while other daughter companies are Oudkerk, Masslog (coal terminal at Duisburg), and Neska (forwarder, Duisburg).

The house flag (drawing) on the site, horizontally divided black-white-red, is striking in view of the fact that it is completely similar to the old German national flag 1871-1918. Tiny Harpen flag couple on inland vessel ‘Similor’ (photo) plus earlier version of flag logo on this Vlootschouw page.

A number of Harpen (that is to say, pre-HTAG) vessels are shown on the Binnenvaart site, e.g; ‘Harpen 29’ (adding a drawing of the flag):
I could not but see that said Binnenvaart vessels are mostly attributed to a firm called Harpener Bergbau (i.e. mining) which flew a different (pre-WWII) house flag.  For the moment I see Harpen Transport/HTAG as an offshoot of Harpener Bergbau (which is named after a village of that name, by the way).
Jan Mertens, 15 Jun 2007

Here is a link to a German Wikipedia page on Harpener Bergbau: Founded in 1856. Mining interests go to Ruhrkohle 1969, keeping real estate, logistics and energy distribution.  Further consolidations and mergers of companies, successors of HB.

Real estate firm Harpen Immobilien, Dortmund: So there seems to be a connection - the logistics department must have gone on until the takeover by Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln.
Now for Harpener Bergbau, flying a house flag horizontally divided (light)-(dark)-(light) with (light) initials ‘HB’ on the middle stripe separated by the well-known miners’ hammers in (light).
No colours unfortunately as I only found b/w images on this Tugspotters page: This is the best HB photo on Tugspotters.
A wild guess: could the colours have been white and green?  See this Binnenvaart photo of ‘Harpen 105’: Who knows?
Jan Mertens, 16 Jun 2007

Harpener Bergbau

[Harpener Bergbau] image sent by Jan Mertens, 4 Sep 2007

Regarding the Harpener Bergbau house flag, I gratefully acknowledge Ian Sumner’s help in solving this problem: the answer is found in ‘Flaggen auf dem Rhein’ (i.e. Flags on the Rhine, Duisburg 1952, 4th ed.), p. 64: the colours are white and blue. The words “Abteilung Schiffahrt” mentioned in the caption, mean the shipping department of the Harpen coal mine company.
Jan Mertens, 4 Sep 2007

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