Nikolai Sourcing’s history and roots date back to 1952 when Kaukomarkkinat started its operations in China and established its first office in Beijing in 1953. Ever since Kaukomarkkinat has been the pioneer and frontrunner for Finnish trade companies. Kaukomarkkinat has played an important role in representing the Finnish export industry on the global markets and has acted as a gate way for international companies to enter the Finnish market.

Sourcing Services, a unit within Kaukomarkkinat, has served its consumer goods customers with sourcing solutions from Asian markets for tens of years. Products include clothing and accessories, shoes and bags, builders supply, garden furniture, home textile and decoration and sports goods.

In November 2008, Sourcing Services was acquired by Kaukopartio Ltd, a Finnish sourcing services company founded in 2007. The company changed its name to Nikolai Sourcing Ltd, and offers its services both to industry and consumer goods companies.

Imperator Nikolai I

Lars Thiodolf Krogius (1832-1890) was an adventurous sails man and captain. He maintained many over seas trips on numerous ships and seas during his younger life. After the Crimean War (1854-1856), Lars Krogius served as a captain on board the ship Imperator Nikolai I (named after the Russian Tsar), which was owned by the Russian American Company.

During a period of six years, Lars Krogius made three round-the-world voyages on Imperator Nikolai I. On board the ship he took both passengers and goods to the colonies (Alaska owned in that time by Russia), furs to China and tea to Russia. The route was made between Kronstadt (St. Petersburg, Russia) and Sitka (Alaska) via Shanghai, Cape Horn and Hawaii accordingly. Lars wife Elisabeth gave birth to their first two children on board Imperator Nikolai I.

Lars Krogius was a "pioneer in sourcing" of his time. Sourcing goods between Asia and northern Europe. He was a respected and talented sails man and after his career as captain onboard Imperator Nikolai I he was appointed principal of Helsinki Naval College. In 1871 he became ship owner and at his proposal the Finnish Steamship Company (goods and passenger overseas transport) was founded and he became its first managing director. Lars Krogius remains as one of the big names within Shipping in Finland and the family Krogius has been greatly involved with shipping in four generations until the 1980's.