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Zim Integrated Shipping Services

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Title: Zim Integrated Shipping Services  
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Zim Integrated Shipping Services

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.
Industry Shipping
Founded 1945 (1945)
Headquarters Haifa, Israel
Area served
Key people
Rafi Danieli (CEO)
Nir Gilad (Chairman)
Services Container shipping, Refrigerated Cargo,
Revenue US$ 3.717 billion (2010)
US$ 54 million (2010)
Parent Israel Corporation
Website Official website
SS Kedma, ZIM's first ship in 1947
SS Shalom, a ZIM ocean liner in the 1960s

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (Hebrew: צים‎), formerly ZIM Israel Navigation Company Ltd. and Zim American Israeli Shipping Inc., is the biggest cargo shipping company in Israel, and 10th largest in the world. The company's headquarters are in Haifa; it also has a North American headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.[1]


  • History 1
  • Privatization 2
  • Planned stock offering 3
  • Operational statistics 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


ZIM was founded in 1945,[2] by the Jewish Agency and the Histadrut (General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel). The first ship was purchased in partnership with Harris and Dixon (based in London) in 1947. This vessel was refurbished, renamed SS Kedma, and sailed to the future state of Israel in the summer of 1947. During her first years, her main task was transporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the emerging state. Some of the other ships that had been used for clandestine immigration before the establishment of Israel as a state were confiscated by the British mandate authorities and later joined the company's fleet. The company continued to purchase more ships, among them SS Negba, SS Artza and SS Galila.

During the 1948 war, the company was the sole maritime connection with the state of Israel, supplying food, freight and military equipment.

In 1953, some of the money from the reparations agreement between Israel and West Germany was allocated to the purchase of new ships. The SS Bergensfjord, renamed Jerusalem, sailed the Israel-New York route,[3] Another ship purchased with reparations money was the SS Etzel.[4] The SS Dolphin IV, acquired in 1956, was renamed SS Zion.

In 1950s and 1960s, ZIM concentrated on passenger ships, alongside a constant expansion of the cargo shipping business. Passenger liners were a common means of international transport before the emergence of cheap air transport, and pleasure cruises were also popular. ZIM sailed the Mediterranean Sea, as well as having regular routes to the United States. Some of its ships cruised to the Caribbean during the winter. 1964 saw the completion of the ocean liner SS Shalom, which turned out to be a failure, marking the end of the ZIM passenger shipping era.[5]

During the 1960s, ZIM started to turn its focus to cargo ships, and obtained several special-purpose vessels, including refrigerated shipping, and oil tankers. ZIM transported crude oil from Iran to Israel, and oil byproducts from Israel to Europe.

In the 1970s, ZIM expanded into the container shipping business. ZIM ordered six such ships, and gradually made this its main line of business.

In 1981, one of the company's ships, Mezada, was lost at sea. Despite a lull in maritime shipping at the beginning of the 1980s, the company built 15 more ships in Germany in the 1990s. At this time, the ownership of ZIM was divided between the Israeli government and Israel Corporation.[6]

In August 2014, unloading of the Zim Piraeus at the Port of Oakland was delayed after a protest against Israel's actions in Gaza. Longshoremen declined to load the ship out of safety concerns, taking no position on the underlying dispute,[7] but unloaded the ship after their safety was assured.[8]

In 2010, another demonstration was conducted against a Zim vessel in response to the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

After the 2014 Oakland demonstration there were protests at the port of LA[9][10][11][12] and at Tacoma, Washington[13] which failed to stop the unloading of cargo from Zim ships. A second demonstration in Oakland in September 2014 resulted in a Zim ship not being unloaded and heading to Los Angeles instead. Longshoremen, not participating in the protest, refused to unload the ship after being physically threatened and their vehicles blocked when they tried to report for work.[14] Protesters claimed success in compelling Zim shipping to take Oakland and L.A. off its schedule, an action the Oakland port contends will cost jobs for dockworkers.[15]

In mid to late 2015, plans to revive a initial public offering were implemented. The listing will likely take place on the New York Stock Exchange in 2016. Both Bank of America Merill Lynch and Barclays will lead the IPO.[16]


In 2004, ZIM the Israel Corporation (which is controlled by the Ofer Brothers Group) purchased 49% of Zim's shares held by the Israeli government, becoming the sole owner of the company.[6] The new official name after privatization became Zim Integrated Shipping Services. The purchase deal for about five hundred million New Israeli Shekels was severely criticized by the press[17] and the State Comptroller of Israel[18] as being undervalued and becoming just another flag of convenience company. In 2007, Zim sold its maritime logistics and forwarding services subsidiary NewLog to UTi Worldwide.[19]

Planned stock offering

ZIM Barcelona off California, 2008

In 2008, ZIM planned to launch an initial public offering and selling 25% of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but due to the onset of the global economic crisis it was called off.[20] In 2009, ZIM required a cash injunction of $450 million by the Ofer family and debt restructuring following the world's container shipping downturn.[21]

In 2010, ZIM regained profitability and in early 2011 ZIM renewed its plans for a flotation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but again had to postpone it due to the economic downturn and the drop in container shipping rates.[22]

In July 2014, by which time the company was almost wholly owned by Israel Corporation, ZIM was restructured with 68% of the group's shares owned by its creditors and bondholders, and 32% retained by Israel Corporation.[23]

Operational statistics


  • Annual turnover 2014: $3.4 billion
  • TEU's Carried in 2014: 2,360,000 million
  • Total TEU Capacity (owned and chartered vessels): 344,460 TEU's
  • Containers: over 547,000 TEUs of various types
  • About 80 vessels, 13 fully or partly owned
  • Ports of Call: 180 throughout the world, with 10 strategically located hubs
  • Services: Over 70 lines and services, mostly on a weekly, fixed-day basis, covering all major trade routes with regional connections
  • Employees: ~4200
  • Regional Headquarters: Haifa (Israel), Norfolk, Virginia (USA), Hamburg (Germany), Hong Kong
  • Agents: ZIM has more than 170 offices and representatives in over 100 countries throughout the world

See also


  1. ^ "Company Watch: A Look at Zim Shipping". Virginia Israel Advisory Board. 13 February 2002. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Company Overview of Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd". Businessweek. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bergensfjord (1) (NAL: 1913-46)". Simplon Postcards - The Passenger Ship Website. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Children at Heart, Jerusalem Post Magazine Archived 23 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Micke Asklander. (1964)"Shalom"T/S . Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Israel Corp. to acquire state's Zim stake for $115m". Globes. 13 January 2004. 
  7. ^ "Volatile atmosphere at Gaza demonstration prevents Longshoremen from entering Port of Oakland terminal (ILWU Coast Longshore Division news release)". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Lee, Henry (21 August 2014). "Ship hit by protests unloads, leaves Oakland". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Israeli ship remains at sea as thousands of protesters gather in Oakland". The Guardian. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Calif. protesters block Israel-owned ship at Port of Oakland". Washington Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Protesters: We prevented Zim ship from unloading cargo in LA". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Local Groups Picket Israeli Ship at Port of Long Beach". Long Beach Post. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Protesters Fail to Block Zim Ship in Tacoma". The Maritime Executive. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Israeli cargo ship heads for L.A. to unload after Oakland protest". Reuters. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Pro-Palestinian activists declare “victory” as Zim removes Californian ports from schedule". Container Management. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Barclays, BoA Merrill to lead Israel's Zim NY IPO". Reuters. 8 October 2015. 
  17. ^ Secrets of shakshuka, Haaretz
  18. ^ "דוח שנתי 55ב לשנת 2004 ולחשבונות שנת הכספים 2003 - הליך מכירתן של מניות צים שבידי המדינה [Annual Report for 2004 and fiscal year 2003 - Sale of ZIM shares held by the State]". (in עברית). 2013. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Tal, Levy (10.07.2006). "Zim's Newlog unit in merger talks with UTi and Transclal". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Wright, Robert (17 June 2008). "Israel Corp calls off Zim shipping flotation". Financial Times. 
  21. ^ Wright, Robert (24 November 2011). "Zim and MISC signal deepening container ship crisis". Financial Times. 
  22. ^ Rochvarger, Michael (27 June 2011). "Ofers' Zim navigates around obstacles on way to Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO". Haaretz. 
  23. ^ "Oakland workers on docks refuse to load shipo from Israel". San Francisco Star. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  24. ^

External links

  • Official website
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