15th June 2005, 07:04
Can anyone in NZ post a photo, in either Auckland or Port Chalmers, of ABC Containerline's "TNT Express" (1984/29223 grt) for me? For the purists amongst us, I realise that she was not a "proper" containership (she was a conbulker) but she looked the part when she was full and down with four high on deck!

ABC Containerline, Antwerp was, of course, a non-conference operator but I recall one trip out of Port Chalmers for Panama that we, for some reason or other and I can't remember why, lifted a reasonable number of conference boxes (OCL, etc.) to the UK which were purposely put in the deck stow on the outside bays, so that everyone could see them!! They looked good too!



Jan Hendrik
15th June 2005, 08:54
It was actually a Dutch company with their head office located in Antwerp. The boss and owner was a certain Mr Rosenfelt and they were running a few container ships outside the conference indeed.

Another vessel was called Cornelis Verolme, named after the largest shipyard in Rotterdam at the time , Verolme Shipyard in the Botlek.
(I used to go there daily - in the 60's and 70's)

Visited both ships in Melbourne occasionally in the 90's.

ABC line had a connection with TNT, but this is an old story now.

15th June 2005, 14:02
Jan -

Thanks for that, I was Master of "TNT Express" on and off from November 1984 until February 1991 .... I have to admit that I never regarded the company as Dutch but was well aware that head office in Antwerp was manned by many nationalities - Belgian, French, Dutch, German, even one supposed stateless Jewish gentleman who resided in London!!

I met Tsvi Vered Rosenfeld on a number of occasions during functions on board, that he was a unique kind of man and an entrepreneur shipowner there is no doubt!! Sir Peter Abeles, then chairman of TNT, was a friend of Rosenfeld's and it was through that connection that TNT took shares in ABC Containerline. Various stories went around, that Rosenfeld had ordered two conbulkers for a new American venture of his in the early '80s but that the venture had run into financial trouble before it got off the ground - supposedly TNT "bailed out" the situation by paying for the first ship, which became "TNT Express" and was integrated into the ABC round the world fleet. I remember seeing the original general arrangement plans for the ship with American manning, it was for 36 crew all up - Australian manning in those days was regarded as "extravagant" but we were 10 under that figure, and that figure was reduced before 1991, when she was put into full ABC ownership and reflagged/remanned.

"Cornelus Verolme" and "Ellen Hudig" were earlier sisters of "TNT Express" and came from the Belgian Cockerill yards, but not before the yards had gone into bankruptcy, which caused financial problems and delays in their delivery. I remember asking the "Belgians" how they came to have such names, as they did have, for their ships - I was told that Cornelus Verolme was a Dutchman who in 1946 had laid the foundations for what became a national and international shipbuilding empire.



Jan Hendrik
15th June 2005, 14:31
Yes Mike, all correct, good story. I remember a bit of this too, wasn't there also a ship called "Antwerp"?
Yes Cornelis Verolme was named after arguably Holland's biggest name in shipbuilding of the 60's and 70's.
In the late 60's they launched quite a number of newbuilding tankers of 247.000 DWT for Esso and the like. Also they had 7 drydocks of which I think 4 graven ones including the very exciting, first 500.000 ton graven dock in Europe which is still in operation.
I attended a huge Maersk tanker once, can't remember the size, must have been 1968/70 or so. You could stand straight up under the keel.

Ellen Hudig is probably named after one of the founders of Hudig and Co or Hudig and Veder, this is another famous name inside the Dutch shipping circles.
Perhaps somebody may find us the answer here.
I even seem to remember ( pretty certain) that ABC Line originated from a company called Tradex of Amsterdam, wasn't there a captain Schlager as supt ? He was German.
I have attended some drydockings when he was in charge.
I was the paint supplier.


16th June 2005, 00:11
Jan -

His own ship's names were - "Helen", "Deloris", "Antwerpen", "Brussel", "Cornelus Verolme", and "Ellen Hudig". "TNT Express" became "Martha II".



16th June 2005, 00:16
Jan -

Oh - the name you're looking for is Hinrichs, he was a good bloke!



Jan Hendrik
16th June 2005, 01:35
Thanks for all that. I remember Hinrichs and also the names of the other vessels.
It is Cornelis (not Cornelus or sometimes in OZ they say Cornelius).
Cornelis becomes Kees in short (a bit like Keith in English).
Kees you pronounce as Case (in English), there was a Dutch boatbuilder in Melbourne who changed his name from Kees to Case, at least they then pronounced it properly he said.

16th June 2005, 12:57
The mention of Kees brought back a memory, Jan. I used to sail with a 3rd by the name of Kees Pompie (sp) on the Australian Progress out of Melbourne. He was a funny man, always drank Tigers Milk and as we were watchkeeping to-gether I developed a taste as well. Probably the only way anyone could drink Corio whisky. Wonder what happened to him.

Jan Hendrik
16th June 2005, 14:03
Don't know him at all. Pompie is not really a Dutch name.
There is a Pompie boatshop in Melbourne, but they are Australians.
Pompie (if Dutch) is freely translated as : small pump

steve vingerhoedt
4th November 2005, 13:40
hello, i was one of the engineers on ANTWERPEN,BRUSSEL,CORNELIS VEROLME and DELORIS! greetings to all ex ABC-sailers

4th November 2005, 13:52
Welcome Steve to the site, you are now amongst the ex sea going fraternity, most of us left years ago but our minds are still there.

steve vingerhoedt
5th November 2005, 10:12
yes,now i'm driving for about 7 years with a truck but if i could go back on the ship i would not hessitate to go back because i really loved that job!i started as aspirant engineer on the MV BRUSSEL,than become 5th engineer and ended up as 4th engineer. (Thumb) (Fly)

5th November 2005, 22:46
Steve -

Was Dennis Reinders still around in your time? In the "TNT Express" days, he was an Engineer Superintendent in the Antwerp office of Sealanes - he supervised the building of her in Korea and maintained a great interest in her during her time with Australian manning .... only a young bloke but very experienced and a very good practice and theory man, as I recall. I seem to remember he was just about the only Belgian in the office - I think he liked being on board "TNT Express", probably because of standing by her building but also because he seemed to like the Australian engineers!! He was always interested as to why all the engineers, right down the fourth, were certificated, when it wasn't a requirement in the Belgian ABC vessels - there was nothing less than a 2nd Class Certificate in the engineer manning of the "TNT".



steve vingerhoedt
4th December 2005, 16:24
yes,i suppose so because in that time i did heard that name sometimes!my dad have supervised the building of the VEROLME and later on he was the 2nd engineer on it untill he stopped sailing,he's name is Vingerhoedt Roger.

steve vingerhoedt
8th January 2006, 12:15
hello everybody and a happy 2006!!!!!!in a month or so is it finito for me to visit this site any site at all because my girlfriend throws me out and it is her PC and before i will be back on line i have to do so many other things first and i think you all understand,so greetings to all and till somewhere in the future........

21st May 2006, 08:39
Hi Mike,
I know that this a bit late in the piece, but did you ever get that pic.
I remember the "Antwerpen" and "Ellen Hudig" called in Brisso a couple of times in the 90's but then sort of disappeared.
Whatever happened to the line. Did it die when Sir Peter died??
David D.

21st May 2006, 13:38
Jan, I wonder if your Dutch boatbuilder frpm Melbourne was Case Dusink, from Williamstown??. I didnt know him well, but he was a real 'Character', well respected for his boat building skills. I wonderwhere he ended up?

Jan Hendrik
21st May 2006, 13:49
Kees Dusink , he called himself Case , so they pronounced his name properly.
He was quite a character and last time I saw him was end 2002 when he was in his early 80's, he came to our office claiming few calendars, but I have not seen him since and am afraid he might not be around anymore as he looked very pale and thin when I saw him last.
He was divorced but had a girlfriend Pamela and I have been on his motorboat once touring Port Philip Bay.
He had to move from the yard as it was a Steptoe and Son environment, shocking rusty fences or what were called fences... and always half a dozen old boats around which somehow never got finished.
I visited him regularly during the 80's and early 90's and indeed never a dull moment when having a conversation.

6th June 2006, 04:40
I do not know if anyone posted a photo of this vessel for you. Here is one I found lurking on my PC source unknown taken in Otago around 1989-1990,

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4152/tntexpress198919900hw.th.jpg (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tntexpress198919900hw.jpg)

6th June 2006, 13:38
Gary -

Many thanks for the photo, she looks good - well down, of course, with probably 25-30,000 tonnes of mineral sand on board from Western Australia, as well as a good number of boxes. It obviously wasn't the trip where we carried the conference lines' boxes - can't see any OCL, ACT, etc., in the pic!! Actually, I eventually got a nice photo of her alongside the terminal at Port Chalmers from another source in Dunedin!!

Thanks again


24th March 2007, 04:37
I do not know if anyone posted a photo of this vessel for you. Here is one I found lurking on my PC source unknown taken in Otago around 1989-1990,
Have since found out who this photo belongs to and have given credit.
http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/4152/tntexpress198919900hw.th.jpg (http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tntexpress198919900hw.jpg)
Photo By W. A'Court


24th March 2007, 08:11
Am I correct in saying TNT other than it's more familiar name, stands for Transport Northern Territories?
I remember when they first broke into UK road haulage in the 70's operating from Northampton, it was said everything right down to the desk pencils was owned by the bank?
I didn't realise they were shipowners until now and have seen their air cargo planes at Stansted airport. Another super Oz success story.

Jan Hendrik
24th March 2007, 09:18
It is Thomas Nationwide Transport (started and owned by a gentleman of this name in Australia) , but you ask anybody who works for TNT Holland (merged with KPN- say the postal giant of Holland) what it means, then they would not know.
TNT also went into competition with DHL on account of international and local mail satchells.

24th March 2007, 09:29
The company was founded in 1946 by Ken Thomas, the Australian TNT achieved rapid growth in its home market during the 1950s by expanding road and rail freight services across the country.
When it first established the company was called K.W. Thomas Transport. It changed to Thomas Nationwide Transport in 1958 just after the Australian government objected to Thomas National Transport, believing ‘national’ implied it was a government-owned company. The first trucks to appear on Australian roads with the abbreviation ‘TNT’ caused a lot of anxiety as road users thought the trucks were carrying high explosives!
For further information on the company check this link.


25th April 2007, 06:32
Thanks Aldinga. Strangely all my time in Oz, I never once saw TNT and a good part of that time was up the "Top End" with the enormous road trains.