Friedrich-Otto Engel joined
G. Seippel & Co. in 1908.

Founded in 1890

In 1890 the company G. Seippel & Co. had been founded as limited partnership by Mr. Georg Wilhelm Seippel in Hamburg. The import of raw-coffee from South America was its main occupation.

In 1908 Mr. Friedrich Otto Engel joined G. Seippel & Co. and was conferred power of attorney in 1911. The young man had spent quite some years of his youth in Venezuela and was highly accustomed to the Middle American language and culture. Due to health problems, Mr. Georg Wilhelm Seippel had to quit the company in 1922. The company had then been taken over by Mr. Friedrich Otto Engel and Mr. Theodor H.E. Gröne, remaining limited partnership company.

1922 - 1939

In those years mainly import-business in coffee as exclusive importer in Germany was effected for the total harvest from Nicaragua, not envisaged by Mr. Friedrich Otto Engel to be changed in the coming years. There was no necessity for a change up to 1939. The coffee market was moving quite safely, except for seasonal fluctuations; the harvest could always be sold very well on the stock exchange. In 1932 Mr. Friedrich Otto Engel brought his son Mr. Johannes Carl Otto Engel into the company.

During the Second World War, between 1939 and 1947, all activities were seized.

Johannes-Carl-Otto Engel laid the foundations for today's export activities.


In 1947 a reincarnation took place, however under completely new perspectives. Markets in Europe were destroyed, financial means were limited and coffee was not the product to earn big money with – temporarily. New business possibilities had to be concluded and that is why Mr. Johannes C. O. Engel started to develop the export business. The business contacts to Middle America were still maintained and used as a basis to build up first transactions. Further markets had been developed in Africa and Far East. Step by step the company came back to normal business life, taking into consideration that communication in times without fax machines or computers specially to oversea countries was a bit of a problem.

Hans-Otto Engel, Managing Director of ATE Trading GmbH. He made first exports to West Africa in 1962.


In 1960 young Mr. Hans-Otto Engel was heading for West Africa. Mr. Johannes C. O. Engel's son had finished his apprenticeship as export mercheant in Hamburg and was destined to go his own way. Between 1960 and 1963 he did so and was working for the agency of a Hamburg company in Liberia. The foundations for the today's status of the company were thus laid.

Mr. Hans-Otto Engel returned to Hamburg in 1963, having rich experiences and valuable contacts in his luggage, joining the paternal company. From now on it was very plain to see what the future development of the company would look like. Beside the "trade with merchandise of all kinds" now the goal was to become an "Africa specialist". During the years this goal could be more and more achieved as meanwhile total West Africa had been served. Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria were mainly given treatment in that time.


In 1980 Mr. Johannes C. O. Engel had to quit the company due to health problems. Mr. Hans-Otto Engel has been leading the company as sole limited partner since then. Especially Nigeria did acquire a reasonable position during the 80's due to its growing and economic supremacy. Regular business trips to the region contributed to the steady growth of the company and to the "know-how".

Continuation of the family tradition. Andreas Engel joined ATE Trading GmbH in 1999.

1996 - Today

In the mid 90's the decision was made to unite the complete Africa business in one independent company, to further on bundle the know-how and to separate this part of the activities from the other countries.

Consequently, the company ATE Trading GmbH was founded in 1996 the goal of which is the "trade to and from Africa with merchandise of all kinds".

The logo and slogan "Appreciated Top European Quality" has been well established in African countries and penetrated the markets. Nowadays the complete export to Africa is being handled through ATE Trading GmbH which enjoys a wide acceptance with customers and suppliers alike.

In 1999 Mr. Andreas Engel joined the company. Mr. Hans-Otto Engel's son shall continue the successful tradition of this Hamburg family-company. ATE Trading GmbH will stay your reliable partner in the trade with Africa also in the new Millennium.