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Port of Copenhagen

Scene in the Copenhagen Free Harbor

Scene in the Copenhagen Free Harbor, home port of the United Steamship Company's Scandinavian-American liners circa 1921. GGA Image ID # 1433e791c4

Situated on the highway of traffic from the Atlantic to the Baltic, Copenhagen is the foremost port of transshipment for the trade from America to the Baltic countries and the home port of the Scandinavian-American Line.

The Free Port of Copenhagen (1922)

Advantages of the free port of Copenhagen to American shippers are pointed out in a pamphlet, which has been issued by the Copenhagen Free Port Company, Ltd. Particular attention Is paid to the service which the port affords to American trade with the Baltic countries.

Situated on the highway of traffic from the Atlantic to the Baltic, Copenhagen is the foremost port of transshipment for the trade from America to the Baltic countries, and the home port of the Scandinavian-American Line.

The day is already in sight when American goods will be carried for the most part in American bottoms, and when that happens it is a safe prediction that the Stars and Stripes will seldom be missing from the harbor of Copenhagen.

When a ship is bound for the Baltic with 700 tons of goods for Libau, 1.200 tons for Danzig, 300 tons for Petrograd, 800 tons for Helsingfors and 1,000 tons for Stockholm, it does not pay to go unloaded from one port to another.

A port of transshipment Is needed, and Copenhagen, with its free port—the terminus and port of call of numerous steamship lines and In constant communication with all countries bordering on the Baltic—seems to meet all requirements.

The chief advantage of the Copenhagen free port is Its freedom from any customs duties,'* the pamphlet stales. Merchandise of all kinds is landed, stored, manufactured sad transshipped to other parts of the world without a single penny being paid in customs or other dues to the Danish exchequer.

Thanks to the Ideal construction and contrivances of the warehouses and the extensive use of the most up-to-date machinery and mechanical devices, unloading and transshipment of cargoes are accomplished in a minimum of time, thus making the Copenhagen free port not only the cheapest but also the quickest port of call In the north of Europe.

The port is easily accessible; it is pointed out in the pamphlet, with a direct entrance from the sound, and because of the total absence of tides is navigable at all times.

Good railway facilities link up ail quays and warehouses, connecting with the Danish State railways. Warehouses, free electric power and electric cranes are provided.

The Copenhagen free port can be used In two ways, according to the pamphlet. The merchant or manufacturer desirous of shipping goods through the free port may either arrange with one of the steamship companies to have his goods shipped to the port of destination on through bill of lading or shipped to the free port on option bill of lading, deferring settlement of the final destination of the goods until after their arrival at the Copenhagen free port, or the exporter may forward his goods direct to the free port for storing in the company’s warehouses, and from there have them transshipped to other ports or directed into Denmark.

Transit goods are warehoused by the company free of charge for about a fortnight. For those wishing to forward goods for storing in the Tree port for transshipment later on it is, however, necessary to have a representative in Copenhagen or employ a local firm of forwarding agents, as the Free Port Company does not undertake forwarding business, but merely executes orders given by the shippers to their representatives or forwarding agents.


"The Free Port of Copenhagen," in Shipping: Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment and Supplies, New York: Shipping Publishing Co, Volume 15, No. 4, February 25, 1922 p.40


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The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.