Steamship Companies Operating
from SINGAPORE and the Straits
Blue Funnel Line/Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd/East Indian Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd and other Singapore-based feeder lines (1881)
The K.P.M. Ships of 1890-91, esp. SPEELMAN and her long Afterlife in China
Marty & d'Abbadie (1893)
Sverre Berg, Thoresen & Co. and the long-lived m.v. KURIMARAU
Chip Hwa Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd (1948)
Singapore Harbour's Breakwater, Quarantine, Coal and Oil Hulks
'Blue Funnel Line/Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd/East Indian Ocean S.S. Co. Ltd and other Singapore-based feeder lines' contained in the PDF file at right is a detailed history of the feeder lines based in Singapore which served the mainline ships of the Blue Funnel Line operating between the U.K. and the Far East. The illustrated history and fleetlist of nearly 50 pages tells of the ships which operated on these services from GANYMEDE in 1879 until the last sailing of CENTAUR at the end of 1983. The Chinese School painting below shows HEBE built for the Deli feeder line in 1885. The list includes many rare photographs.
The K.P.M. Ships of 1890-91, esp. SPEELMAN and her long Afterlife in China in the PDF file at right tells of the original 13 ships of the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) which in January 1891 took over the mail contract for the Netherlands East Indies, now Indonesia. This study discusses the ships' origin, design and often long careers and the vessels they operated with. We have particularly focussed on the long career of SPEELMAN which survived World War II and is believed to have operated for several more decades in North China. The photo below from the collection of Martin Lindenborn shows her arriving at a river port in the Netherlands East Indies in the first part of her career.
Marty & d'Abbadie- A company based in French Indochina which developed services to China was La Soc. Service Subventionne des Correspondences Fluviales au Tonkin, Haiphong, better known as Marty & d'Abbadie. The below image is of the HANOI, built in Sunderland for that owner in 1893. The image is taken from a postcard found in the Northeast of the United States about 50 years ago by the late Charles Schell, father of maritime photographer Bill (W. Schell). It notates a voyage taken from Haiphong to Hong Kong in 1907. An illustrated fleet list is in the PDF at right.
A small ship that was active in Southeast Asia for over 30 years was KURIMARAU, later known as the Thai-flag SIRIVANNICH, as shown in the Ian Ewards photograph below taken at Penang in May 1990. With a life of sixty-five years, her remarkable story and that of one of her longtime owners is told in Sverre Berg, Thoresen & Co. and the long-lived m.v. Kurimarau in the PDF file at right.
Chip Hwa Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd-Founded in Singapore in 1948 by Fukienese Lou Gaw Tong who owned the Aik Hong Rice Mill in Rangoon, this company initially sought to buy up surplus British military vessels and refit them to ship paddy rice down the Irrawaddy to the mills in Rangoon, and the milled rice from Rangoon to Singapore. In the mid-1950s Lou began to diversify Chip Hwa into general dry cargo shipping, including the conversion of tankers to dry cargo vessels. A subsidiary was registered in Hong Kong and after Lou's death in 1960 the fleet expanded significantly with good general cargo tonnage, all motorships and a full fleetlist is included in the PDF file at right. But by 1970 the shipowning side of the business had ended. The two vessels depicted below are converted tanker GLORY shown at Singapore in April 1963 (Dr. George Wilson) and KIAN AUN, also at Singapore, in 1968 (https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/media/kian-aun.131970/).
We have an illustrated essay by Howard entitled "Tracing Singapore Harbour's Breakwater, Quarantine, Coal and Oil Hulks" in the PDF file at right. One of the ships scuttled there was LOUDON, pictured below (marhisdata.nl).