This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Merchant Marine of Switzerland is the largest merchant navy of a landlocked country. Somewhat unusual for a landlocked country, Switzerland has a long tradition of civilian navigation, both on its lakes and rivers, and on the high seas.
The Swiss merchant navy was founded in 1941, with the purpose of supplying Switzerland with basic goods during the Second World War. As of 2016, its essential mission remains supplying the country with goods in times of crisis.
The Rhine port of Basel connects Switzerland to the Port of Rotterdam and thus to the sea trade network. Swiss industry and commerce rely on this connection, exploited for centuries by Swiss Rhine barges, for a substantial part of their imports and exports.
Swiss high seas fleet
The first ships were purchased and operated by the government in order to ensure the supply of critical resources during World War II. After the war, a privately owned merchant fleet emerged, spurred in part by government subsidies that paid for the fleet's operation up until 1953, among them on behalf of the Migros Genossenschaftsbund the cargo ship Adele which was christened by Adele Duttweiler, the wife of Gottlieb Duttweiler, in Hamburg on 15 July 1952; her sister ship Sunamelia was commissioned some months later. In 2010, a fleet of 37 ships flew the Swiss flag, which was made up of bulk carriers, container ships, multi-purpose freighters and tankers, totalling one million tonnes and operated by six shipping companies.
- ABC Maritime AG
- Enzian Shipping AG
- Massoel Gestion SA
- Mega Chemicals Schiffahrt AG
- Reederei Zürich AG
- Suisse-Atlantique Société de Navigation Maritime SA