Waves Sharon ZIM

  • Issue: June 1995
  • Designer: R. Avrahami
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 252
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

ZIM Israel Navigation Company was established in 1945 by the Jewish Agency, the Histadrut Labour Foundation and the Israel Maritime League. Its founders and first directors, led by Dr. Naftali Wydra, were people of vision - not seamen.

After Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948, many former leaders of the illegal Aliya Bet Movement joined the company, bringing with them their unique sea-faring experience and spirit of adventure. ZIM faced the daunting challenge of bringing hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Israel - despite the fact that there were almost no passenger ships available. The old boats of "ALIYA BET " were joined by the first passenger ships of the Jewish fleet: S.S. KEDMA, S.S. NEGBA, S.S. ARTZA and S.S. GALILA.

During the war of Independence ZIM provided cargo service to Israel, bringing precious supplies as well as arms and ammunition to ensure the survival of the fledging state. It is a role ZIM has continued to play during every conflict including the Gulf War.

In 1950 ZIM began an era of expansion that would establish its global presence. In the framework of the reparations programme with Germany, ZIM had acquired 36 passenger, cargo, bulk carriers and tanker ships.

The fifties and early sixties were the heyday of the cruise ship era and ZIM offered services throughout the Mediterranean, to and from America and to the Caribbean during the winter.

By the late Sixties, as air travel grew and losses on passenger lines started mounting, ZIM's management made a painful but necessary decision to cancel the service.

In 1970, a bold decision was made by ZIM management that would change the face of the company. ZIM was among the pioneers in container shipping. A meticulously planned operation resulted in orders for 6 specialized container ships. ZIM container service was established. Container shipping became the company's major field of specialization, and today ZIM is among the largest companies in this field in the world.

At the beginning of the 1980's, when international shipping was undergoing a severe slump, ZIM was faced with the most severe crisis in its history, but by implementing a series of drastic measures the company was able to weather the storm. As a direct consequence ZIM became more efficient, more flexible and more profitable. The company went ahead with an ambitious refurbishment programme, ordering 7 state-of-the-art container ships with greater capacity and reduced operating costs. A solid infrastructure with a sophisticated computer and communication system simplifies fleet management and increases efficiency.

In 1990 the management decided upon a change of concept, transforming ZIM from a shipping company to an international intermodal transportation system. Today's ZIM provides "Door to Door" service including land transportation, air and sea freight, forwarding and other transport related activities. ZIM has more than 80 ships calling at over 250 ports. The company has hundreds of agents world-wide and more than 4000 employees.

Since the early days of the Kedmah ZIM's 7 stars have been a trusted symbol of service, reliability, and stability standard that ZIM works hard to maintain, and that will keep the company strong today, and tomorrow.

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50th anniversary of ZIM