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200 Years of Gleistein, 200 Years of Trust

Steering into the future: Gleistein connects tradition with cutting-edge fibre rope technology.

Gleistein, Bremen's oldest industrial family-run business, is set to celebrate its bicentennial on 26 April 2024. Established in an era when ropes were primarily needed for maritime and agricultural purposes, Gleistein has evolved over eight generations into a leading manufacturer of fibre ropes and a global player in the industry.

Gleistein’s heritage in crafting traditional ropes has paved the way for its emergence as a premier entity in the rope industry with a broad spectrum of advanced fibre rope solutions. Thanks to a deep understanding, decades of expertise, and state-of-the-art production facilities, Gleistein offers a wide-ranging portfolio, catering to various market segments – from the development of specialised lifting equipment, outfitting superyachts, and commercial shipping to system solutions for arboriculture and cable pulling applications.

The relocation of the factory to Bremen-Blumenthal in 1980 marked the departure from the 400-metre-long old ropewalk in Bremen-Vegesack, where natural fibre ropes up to a diameter of 200 mm were once manufactured. The ongoing, unencumbered advancement of synthetic fibres enabled the continuous reduction of rope diameters, whilst not altering their strength. It could almost seem anachronistic when Gleistein opted to focus on thick ropes again in the 1990s. However, as ships and machinery continued to increase in size, the company secured a unique position – especially in the maritime industry – with its forward-thinking decision. Today, on modern braiding machines, Gleistein manufactures ropes in historical dimensions – yet with up to fifteen times the strength! "Our thick ropes are more than just remarkable products. They symbolise our capability to merge tradition with innovation", says Klaus Walther, a descendant of Georg Gleistein and one of the company directors.

Sustainable connections are not merely the essence and purpose of ropes – they have also become the company's guiding principle in every aspect. Hence, building reliable connections with customers, partners, and all 250 members of the Gleistein family across two production sites in Bremen and Trencin, Slovakia, aligns with a product philosophy focused on durability. This approach underpins Gleistein's sustainability ethos: "Here to stay", encapsulating the company's wide-ranging efforts towards a greener, sustainable future and its leading position in environmental stewardship within the industry.

The second managing director, Thomas Schlätzer, also a descendant of the founder, looks forward: "Gleistein acknowledges its responsibilities and embraces the opportunities presented by the circular economy because only those who confront the significant challenges of sustainable practices with consideration for people and the environment can maintain long-term success."

Text: Micheline Schwammborn


Image material and press release for download


Press contact:
Andreas Linder
Gleistein GmbH
Heidlerchenstrasse 7
28777 Bremen, Germany
+49 (0)421 69049-0