The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) is a leading professional association within the German business community. It was founded in 1907 by the regional shipowners’ associations in order to enable them to have common and uniform representation of their interests. Today, the VDR represents the German maritime shipping segment not only in Berlin and Bonn, but also in Brussels, London, Geneva and at global level. With its over 150 member companies from different shipping sectors, the association represents the German shipping industry, which currently boasts the world’s fifth-largest merchant fleet. As an employers’ association, it conducts collective bargaining and social partner negotiations.