On June 23, 1887 Alfred Neumann founded his woodtrading company at the age of 35 years. At the "Billwerder Steindamm" a warehouse was built and hold in the beginning German soft- and hardwood on stock.
In 1894 the importbusiness started with the building of a waterstorage in the woodport of Hamburg-Moorfleet. Whole shiploads could be transported over the river Elbe to the rising company, and shortly after building the waterstorage in Moorfleet sometimes over 20.000 fm of hardwood – poles were stored there, being handled by up to 30 raftsmen. As the industry spread, the port of hamburg grew and with it the shipbuilding industry.
In 1898 the first imports of lumber from overseas arrived. The demand of lumber for the various kinds of shipyards grew, so Alfred Neumann specialised in the import of Teak, Mahogany and other special woods for shipbuilding – it still is one of the main businesses, Alfred Neumann is trading in. The company was therefore one of the pioneers in the German market, who started to import various kinds of timber from overseas.
As the company grew, it needed a larger warehouse, which was found in 1904 in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg. It is about 21.000 m² large and partly covered with wooden halls. As it was connected to a small chanel – the "Schmidtkanal", Scandinavian sail-ships could bring their loads directly to the warehouse. Imports from overseas were brought in with about 17 barges, which were company-owned, from the seaships in the port of Hamburg.
In 1913 Alfred Neumann made his son Max, his son-in-law Paul Güldner, and in 1919 Paul F. Grote associates of his company. The importbusiness became more important – the Golden age of Pitch-Pine imports from the USA began.
On April 29, 1927 Alfred Neumann died. In 1939 Wolfgang Güldner, grandson of Paul Güldner, became shareholder of the company and owned it alone from 1962 on.
In the war-years of 1939 – 1945 the importbusiness didn't take place for known reasons. Business activities were cut down to trading with German woods as well as Scandinavian and East-European woods. After the war the allied nations authorized Alfred Neumann to trade with hardwood imports, especially from the USA and Latin-America. In order to store these Imports the French Army supplied a hall for Alfred Neumann, as in 1943 most of the warehouse in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg was destroyed. This was the new beginning of import business for Alfred Neumann.
Various kinds of German industries (like shipyards, the chemical industry, furniture- and veneer industry) were in big need of lumber from different parts of the world. In the 70s for new purposes, such as the window- and stair prouction, the imports were needed as well.
In 1974 Wolfgang Güldner made his employees Dieter Eick and Uwe Looft his associates, who leaded the company from 1976 on alone.
In 1985 Alfred Neumann founded their subsidiary company Holz-Albrecht GmbH, mainly as a trader for all kinds of woodworking branches.
Alfred Neumann wrote import-history in the lumber-trade more than 100 years and still is an "expert". Peter Eick is managing the companies in the 5th generation.
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