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​​Other CHINESE steamship companies operating on the coast in the period until October 1949
1949 年 10 月之前在沿海运营的其他中国轮船公司

Imperial Maritime Customs & Chinese Maritime Customs 称大清皇家海关总税务司 (1854)  中国海关总税务司 (1911) 

Chinese Engineering & Mining Co., Tientsin (1889)

"Little Pohai" (1904)

Ching Kee S.N. Co., Chefoo 輪船公司 (1909)

Shawhsing S.S. Co., Newchwang (1910)

Pei Ships (1922)

Shun Cheong S.N. Co. Ltd, Hong Kong 順昌航業有限公司 (1928)

Chung Hsing 中興煤礦公司、中興輪船公司 (1931)

Wah Shang Steamship Co. (1932)

Dah Loh Industrial Co. Ltd. 大陸航業公司 (1933)

Wo Fat Sing 和發成公司 (1933)


The Chinese government-owned Imperial Maritime Customs later Chinese Maritime Customs was established in Shanghai in 1854 to collect on behalf of the Imperial Government the reparations sourced from tariff revenues due under the ‘unequal treaties’ that had been imposed at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. A fleet of steamships to enforce Customs regulations was developed flying the Chinese flag but, like the Customs bureaucracy, with foreign officers under contract. In due course a Marine Department was formed as a coastguard to improve the safety of navigation along the treacherous China Coast by constructing lighthouses and installing buoys beacons. Subsidiary activities were anti-smuggling and anti-piracy patrols, for which purpose and also for self-defence the vessels carried light armaments and were in most cases equivalent to gunboats but were referred to as ‘revenue cruisers’. The vessels policed and mapped the China coast and major rivers inland including the Sungari and also assisted with rescue and salvage. Although these steamers were ubiquitous on the China coast and often part of ceremonial events such as fleet reviews, they are little documented, not generally appearing in Lloyd’s Register, maritime directories or navy lists. The list in the PDF file at right is an attempt to provide a record of the larger vessels, but still lacks information so contributions of relevant data and/or images would be much appreciated. The two vessels depicted below are a LIKIN class (1888) revenue cruiser (Chinese school painting in HKMM) and the HAI HSING (1924) depicted in a review at Shanghai about 1946 (Internet image).















































Chinese Mining & Engineering Co. (CEMC) was founded by Tong King-sing and in 1889 commenced to acquire a small fleet of coal-carrying ships.  Initially the ships were registered for British nominees and then German mortgagors, but by the end of the 1890s they were registered for CEMC which became the second Chinese-flag shipping company recorded in Lloyd's Register of Shipping. Over Chinese objections the company was was taken over by foreign interests following the Boxer Rebellion, but in 1930 Chinese ownership was again raised to a majority.  A short history and fleet list is in the PDF file at right. Illustrated below is  CEMC's Chinwangtao Harbour on the Bohai Gulf, photographed around 1920, together with a photograph of the company's ship KAIPING being loaded from rail wagons by basket and plank (from a CEMC booklet).




































"Little Pohai"-A number of smaller companies operating prewar in the Pohai Gulf area, continuing in some cases after the war, are brought together in a fleetlist, in the PDF at right. Shown below is the SHENG TA, built in Glasgow in 1911 for the Imperial Railways of North China, Tientsin (James Adamson/University of Glasgow).






















Ching Kee S.S. Co. was the largest shipping company in North China in the first half of the 20th century. It was close to Japanese interests in Chefoo (Yantai) but in the 1930s some ships were sent to layup in Hong Kong to avoid Japanese takeover.   The PDF file at right gives a brief outline and full illustrated list. The Ching Kee vessel shown below is the SHENG LEE, photographed laid up in exile at Hong Kong in March 1939 (D. Gammon/H. Dick).





















Shaw Hsing/Shawhsing/Zhaoxing S.S. Co. was a company based in Newchwang (Yingkou) from the 1920s until the late 1940s.  An illustrated fleet list is in the PDF file at right. Shown below is Shaw Hsing's YUNG HSING carrying troops wearing padded uniforms in the Yangtse in October 1929 (SK coll.).



























"Pei" Ships-There were two companies based in Tientsin which used "PEI" nomenclature for their ships, and these are presented in the next  PDF. Shown in the photo below ​is PEI MING of Tientsin Nav Co. which was carrying passengers and cargo between Tianjin and Shanghai in the late 1940s  (SK coll.).









Shun Cheong S.N. Co was an operator in the trade south from Hong Kong as far as Singapore. A short history of Shun Cheong S.N. Co. written by Howard and a fleet list with a numerous illustrations of the ships is in the PDF at right. Below are two post-World War II Shun Cheong ships. The two ships below were each originally built for Jardines' Indo-China S.N. Co. The black and white photograph at Singapore by Robert Gabriel is of TAIPOOLOY, shown in Shun Cheong's early colours.  The colour photo by Ian Schiffman at Hong Kong (and kindly edited by Harry Stott) is CHEONGWIND, one of this company's last two ships, which were withdrawn in 1983, in effect concluding conventional regular steamship services which had lasted ninety years (refer the fleet list of Marty and D'Abbadie in the Overseas section).







































Chung Hsing was a major concern, commencing with the  company's coal mining operations in Shantung in 1880. It operated colliers from the 1930s and later steamships out of Shanghai, including after 1949. A short history and illustrated fleetlist is at right. The German-built steamer illustrated below was acquired by the Chung Hsing Coal Mining Company in 1935 and renamed LU HSING 魯興 . After a series of transfers it ended up with the Shanghai Maritime Bureau as the ZHANDOU 16 and is shown as such in Karsten Petersen's 1973 photo at Qingdao.

Wah Shang Steamship Co. managed by Yeh Chuan-fang, was a shipping company established in Shanghai in 1931. Its story and that of its successor companies is outlined in the PDF file at right. Shown below at Shanghai is one of that company's ships, the HAVEN 海文, acquired after the Second World War (Howard Dick coll.).











Dah Loh Industrial Co. Ltd was another sizeable company operating out of Shanghai before and after World War II.  An illustrated fleet list is contained in the next PDF. Peter Kiehlmann's photograph below shows the DAH KIANG 大江, similarly acquired after World War II.





















Wo Fat Sing-A number of operators developed the trade out of Hong Kong southwards, often carrying workers outward and bringing back rice from Indochina.  One of these operators, Wo Fat Sing, became prominent in the Prewar period. A short history and illustrated fleet list of Wo Fat Sing and its precursor Li Shek Pang is in the PDF at right. Two photos by Don Gammon of Wo Fat Sing ships follow. The first, kindly edited for us by Russell Priest, shows HELIKON at Amoy in the 1930s taking on cargo. The second depicts LYEEMOON at Hong Kong in September 1939 with passengers, with the ship painted in darker colours for camouflage. In both photos the ships appear to be flying the houseflag of Jardine, Matheson & Co.










































As an addition to the "Little Pohai" and Dalian Maritime Bureau lists, we tell in some detail the story of the DMB's first deepsea passenger ship. SPEELMAN (1890) was a small interisland steamer that comprised one of the famous KPM’s original interisland fleet in the Netherlands East Indies. Sold in 1923 to Indo-China, two years later it passed to owners in Manchuria, survived the Sino-Japanese War and in 1949 disappeared behind the ‘bamboo curtain’. We have discovered evidence that the ship survived in PRC service into the 1970s, thereby becoming the longest surviving unit of the original KPM fleet and in fact outlasting the KPM itself. The text in the PDF at right was completed in early 2016 as an article for publication that never eventuated and has now been revised to include new detail that has since come to hand and to bring in many more images as a photo-story.  Shown below is HAI-CHANG ex SPEELMAN moored in the Liao River at Yingkou (Newchwang) in the 1930s (from a postcard, SK coll).

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