Hamburg Süd and thus RAO are acquired by Maersk Line. At the same time, RAO will remain a commercially independent company with its own brand values: quality, reliability, competence and effectiveness.
Delivery of the first I-Star bulk carrier made by Imabari Shipbuilding. A seven-year charter party for the "MS Furness St. Kilda" is entered into.
Acquisition of the Brazilian shipping company Aliança and the associated acquisition of the bulk activities of Aliabulk.
Conclusion of two long-term charter parties for the two reefer vessels "Cap Domingo" and "Cap Delgado" via the Japanese trading house Mitsui / OMC. This marks the beginning of intensive business relations with Japan.
Four "Santa" newbuildings start their voyages: "Santa Isabella", "Santa Ursula", "Santa Ines" and "Santa Teresa".
For the first time, RAO charters in for longer periods three vessels that have the typical "Santa" names: "Santa Anna", "Santa Alexandra" and "Santa Fotini".
In late October, the shipbuilder Blohm+Voss delivers the "Polar Ecuador", the first vessel of the new "Polar"-class. This class had six vessels. With speeds of up to 23 knots , they number among the fastest "banana hunters" in the world. In addition, the ships in this class are the first to be equipped with a data-processing system that controls technical processes.
With the pair "St. Michalis" and "St. Petri", RAO starts a custom of naming tankers after churches in Hamburg, which is still common today.
With the tanker "St. Nikolai", RAO follows the trend toward larger tankers.
With the new "Cap Domingo", RAO expands its field of operations and starts refrigerated shipping on April 28, 1959. The so-called “banana hunter” is followed by its sister vessels "Cap Corrientes" and "Cap Valiente".
The turbine tanker "Caroline Oetker" is commissioned on February 26. The new flagship of the RAO shipping company is regarded as one of the most beautiful tankers and is the largest German ship at the time.
Rudolf August Oetker takes over shares from the co-owners of Reeder-Union AG and renames their three ships to "Bonanza", "Blumenau" and "Belmonte".
On March 26, 1953, the first new ship, the "Babitonga", is put into service. It is followed in October by the newbuilding "Belgrano". Shipments of Volkswagen cars start with the "Belgrano". The emergence of the "round-the-world service": Brand-new VWs are shipped from Germany to the United States. In the United States, RAO vessels take on forestry products and transport them to Australia. There, malting barley from Southern Australia is loaded and shipped to Europe.
The shipping company Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO) is founded on August 1. The first two ships to be deployed are the "Ravensberg", a tanker, and the "Burg Sparrenberg", a cargo ship.