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Hapag-Lloyd was formed in 1970 through a merger of Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) and the North German Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd is a German transportation company comprising a cargo container shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd AG, which in turn owned other subsidiaries such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises which is today integrated into TUI AG, Hanover. It was formed in 1970 as a merger of two 19th century companies, Hapag, which dated from 1847, and Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) or North German Lloyd (NGL), which was formed in 1856. Hapag-Lloyd was acquired in 1998 by TUI AG (Hanover) and became its fully owned subsidiary in 2002. In 2009, TUI sold a majority stake to a group of private investors and the City of Hamburg, the so-called Albert Ballin Consortium.
The main founders of Hapag and Lloyd in the 19th century were Berenberg Bank, Fritz Albert Haas, and H. J. Merck & Co.. In February 2012 the German company TUI sold more shares of the German owned company Hapag-Lloyd to the City of Hamburg which is the largest share holder with approx. 37% followed by Kuehne Maritime with 28% and TUI AG with 22%. The other shareholders are Hamburg based banks and insurances.
Hapag and NGL continued to compete until establishing a joint-venture container line in 1968 in order to share the huge investments related to the containerisation of their fleets. Both companies finally merged on September 1, 1970 under the name Hapag-Lloyd.
Hapag-Lloyd was acquired in 1998 by TUI AG (Hanover), a tourism conglomerate, and became its fully owned subsidiary in 2002. In the course of the integration into TUI AG, all tourism related activities such as the charter airline and travel agencies were transferred to TUI AG. A retrenchment from that position through an offering of a minority of Hapag-Lloyd's shares on the stock market was planned in 2004. As part of that process, its business units other than the container line and cruise line were planned for divestiture.
In 2008 TUI announced an intention to sell its entire stake in Hapag-Lloyd shipping activities before the end of that year. Industry speculation predicted a sale price of approximately $US5.9 billion.
In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd acquired Chile's Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores SA (CSAV). The merger made Hapag-Lloyd the fourth-largest container-shipping company in the world.
On 21 August 2005, TUI AG agreed to acquire the Canadian business CP Ships Limited for €1.7 billion (US$2.0 billion) in cash. The deal which was approved by the boards of both CP Ships, TUI, and the Shareholders has been successful. It has now made the combined fleet the fifth largest by capacity in the worldwide container shipping market. In 2006 the CP Ships name disappeared for good.

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