The history of Containerships goes back over 250 years and now more than ever we're shaping the future of our industry. Take a walk down memory lane to discover how William MacAndrew founded MacAndrews back in 1770 and find out how we became Containerships.

A Timeline of History

Our history is long, over two and a half centuries old. Back then we imported fruits from Spain and Portugal into the UK, a practice we're still engaged in to this day. Nowadays we also move a lot of other cargo too, so take a look at our timeline to see how we went from MacAndrews to modern day Containerships.*


1770 The history of Containerships goes back to 1770 when 18-year-old William MacAndrew from Scotland started importing fruits from Spain and Portugal with offices in both London and Liverpool.
1857 The first MacAndrew line steamship, the 315-tonne Acor, was built in Glasgow.
1859 Robert MacAndrew & Co (William's son) embarked on an extensive expansion programme, opening offices throughout Spain, as well building and acquiring new vessels which were registered in Spain. A total of 27 new ships were contracted for, mostly ranging in size from 600-700 gross tonnes.
1882 August Schultze introduced OPDR to the world, shipping glass to Portugal and importing cork into Germany.
1910 OPDR obtained the transport licence for the mail of the German Empire along with a new service into the Canary Islands.
1915 OPDR had 16 vessels operating on routes to/from Hamburg, Antwerp, Morocco and the Canary Islands.
1945 MacAndrews and OPDR suffered significant losses due to the war. By the end of the war, all OPDR's vessels were either lost or confiscated by the Allies.
1959 The invention of the modern container led to the foundation of Containerships as the world's first short sea dedicated container line between Turku, Finland and Felixstowe, UK.
2003 French shipping giant CMA CGM acquired MacAndrews.


Later that year, Containerships launches the first fully LNG-powered container vessel with the arrival of mv Containerships Polar.

2018 OPDR and MacAndrews merge to form MacAndrews, a powerhouse in intra-European short sea transport.
2019 In April 2019, the two intra-European multimodal logistics experts, Containerships and MacAndrews, united to become one brand, Containerships.
2021 Today, we offer our customers unique and sustainable multimodal transport solutions utilising our comprehensive European network reaching from the Baltics to North Africa.