The story of LEMAN

With the beginning of international container transportation in the late 1960’s the possibility to move goods overseas to the US Midwest became reality. Up to this time goods and products were shipped on conventional vessels through the Great Lakes from April to December, when the locks in the St. Lawrence seaway were not frozen. Alternatively, the major East Coast ports were utilized in the winter months causing regularly delays and severe damage to the freight. 

With the help of ‘Loom of Denmark’ and their subsidiary ‘Racine Import Company’, Paul Lehmann International Transport System A/S (now LEMAN A/S) started a consolidated container service from Denmark to Racine, Wisconsin servicing a handful of importers in the US Midwest, also known for being home to the largest Danish community in the USA.

As the service evolved and grew, LEMAN bravely decided to establish a wholly owned US subsidiary and the vision of LEMAN USA was born. Today, 50 years later LEMAN USA is a well-recognized international logistics provider and a market leader in consolidated ocean freight from Denmark and the Nordics to the USA.


Steen Sanderhoff


On June 3rd 1971, Steen Sanderhoff touched down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to commence a 6 month assignment with the aim of opening LEMAN’s US subsidiary. His mission was to establish the necessary infrastructure to provide quality freight forwarding services and build and enhance the limited services already in place through the partnership with Racine Import Company.

LEMAN USA started its activities by leasing an office space at 3000 Wolfs Street in Racine Wisconsin, which would also become home for Steen. With the support of an additional person, and wearing many hats, the customer base started to grow and the service capabilities expanded continuously.

The LEMAN USA history

  • 1900 The company Paul Lehmann was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 1971 LEMAN USA was founded. Starting operations from Racine, Wisconsin and became the company’s US Headquarters.
  • 1974 A brand new office and warehouse building was constructed in Racine.
  • 1980 LEMAN started offering Warehousing services in addition to International Freight Forwarding.
  • 1996 Anticipating further growth, land was purchased at Renaissance Business Park in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
  • 1998 LEMAN built a brand new 68’000 sq ft multi-office and warehouse facility at Renaissance Park.
  • 1998 LEMAN established an office at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 2001 A branch in Los Angeles, California was opened.
  • 2002 LEMAN started up in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2002 Opening of LEMAN in Clark, New Jersey (followed by a merger with Windsor Looks in 2004)
  • 2015 A LEMAN office in Miami, Florida was established.
  • 2016 99’000 sq ft of warehouse space was added to the building at Renaissance Business Park.
  • 2018 LEMAN USA’s Contract Logistics Division was formed and Warehousing & Distribution services expanded throughout the country.
  • 2020 Express services were added to the company’s diverse service portfolio.


Office at 2910 Wolff Street

Ebbe Rostgaard & Steen Sanderhoff

Today LEMAN USA operates in 6 branch offices. The headquarters remains in Sturtevant, Wisconsin with a total number of 120 employees.

Read more about the full story

Did you know that LEMAN is actually 120 years old, and originates from Copenhagen, Denmark?

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