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    In the more than 50 years since it was founded, EUROKAI has developed from a Hamburg-based family firm into an international corporate group. Milestones in the company’s history include the stock exchange listing of the preference shares and participation certificates (1985) as well as foundation of the LISCONT Container Terminal in Portugal (1985), which was the last entrepreneurial achievement of Kurt Ecklemann, who founded the company in 1961. On 3 August 1986, Kurt Eckelmann’s son, Thomas Eckelmann, took over the reins as Chairman of the EUROKAI Management Board. One of the highlights of the first years was expansion of business activities to Italy through acquisition of a shareholding in La Spezia Container Terminal in 1986. Others included the takeover of neighbouring Hamburg businesses Holzmüller Seehafenbetrieb (1988) and PCO Stauereibetrieb PAETZ & Co. (1987) and acquisition of the operating licence for the Medcenter Container Terminal in Gioia Tauro in 1993. In the mid-1990s, the major container shipping lines forged global alliances. This necessitated strategic rethinking at EUROKAI and with consolidation of the container activities of EUROKAI and Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft led in 1999 to the foundation of EUROGATE. Parallel to this, in 1999, the company acquired the remaining 66.6 percent of the shares in  CONTSHIP Italia S.p.A., in which EUROKAI had previously held 33.4 percent. EUROKAI developed into a group whose core activities focus on container handling, but which also offers intermodal transport and cargomodal services. 1999 was without a doubt a watershed year in the company’s evolution.