Correct name of the company

Norm
7th November 2011, 06:28
Back in the 60's i sailed on the Hinakura. I always thought that the company name was The New Zealand Shipping Co. which included the NZS ships with NZ names, and the Union SS Co with the English county names. However I see many posters putting up pictures of ships, such as The Union SS Co. Sussex for example. Which is correct? I'm aware of the history and the flags etc.

cubpilot
7th November 2011, 08:37
You are thinking of the Federal Steam Shipping Co not Union. Over the years there have been a number of shipping companies that have used the name Union. eg the Union Castle line. The Union Shipping Co you are thinking about probably is the NZ based outfit that traded mostly in NZ and Australian waters. Although part of the P & O group in the 60s it was not tied in with NZS at that time. Their ships also used NZ names

Bob Murdoch
7th November 2011, 09:25
The Union S.S. Co (New Zealand) Ltd. Part of the P & O Group in the 60's until sold to Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT). After that I dont know.
It was NZ flagged and manned. A lot of the officers in the 50's 60's were brought out to NZ on two year contracts. A bond of 50 was paid prior to leaving UK which was re-paid at the end of the two years, plus interest. I joined them in January, 1960 sailed out to Auckland in March and as we were paid at British rates till we arrived in NZ, I had more than re-couped my 50 before arriving in NZ.
They were a good company to work for in those days.
Cheers,
Bob

BeerSailor
7th November 2011, 23:06
Norm - NZSC purchased Federal Steam Navigation Co. in 1912 to gain a foothold in the Australian trade. NZS vessels retained Maori names and Federal vessels retained county names. During the next 50 odd years new builds were spread between the two and there were several transfers between the two fleets. NZS sold to P and O in 1916 and thereafter there were transfers of vessels to British India and Union Steamship Co. who were also part of the vast P and O fleet. NZS/Federal continued to be run as an independent company, NZS retaining the buff funnel and Federal the red funnel with flag. During the beginning of rationalisation, all vessels were given the Federal funnel in 1965. The fleet then gradually declined as containerisation progressed. By 1971 the remaining vessels were 'owned' by Federal but managed by NZS and it was during 1971 that management was taken over by P and O General Cargo Division.

Norm
8th November 2011, 03:26
Thanks beery one and all. Yes I did mean to say Federal and not Union. I dont know why I did that. The worrying thing is I'm doing things like that more often these days! So it would be correct to call the combined NZSCo and Federal ships as The New Zealand Shipping Co. ?

spongebob
8th November 2011, 05:48
As Bob says, the USSCo was a good company to work for but perhaps the crew pay conditions were part of the reason for its retrenchment and eventual demise.
My first trip was from NZ to UK and back as a junior engineer on NZSCo's passenger/cargo ship Rangitane. I left my apprenticeship at the Devonport NZ Dockyard earning the minimum adult wage of 44 pounds per month to join the British ship at 37pounds 10/- pm, albeit all found, and arrived back home 6 months later to join the scrubby little USSCo collier Kaitangatata as 4th engineer on a basic pay of about 61 pounds per month plus overtime for any hours outside 8 per day and a day's leave for any Sunday or part thereof at sea. Stand by entering or leaving port earned extra at time and a half and double time cut in after three hours if my memory serves me right.
On the Banana boats a 24 hour duty roster while at anchor could make the pay zoom especially if it was preceded or followed by watch keeping.
Again, as I recall mates were on a different award and were paid overtime for Sunday at sea. Perhaps there were times when we dropped the engine revs at little or the deck arranged a zig-zag course to spend just a little bit of the Sabbath at sea!!

Bob

BeerSailor
9th November 2011, 23:23
Thanks beery one and all. Yes I did mean to say Federal and not Union. I dont know why I did that. The worrying thing is I'm doing things like that more often these days! So it would be correct to call the combined NZSCo and Federal ships as The New Zealand Shipping Co. ?
I only caught the last 4 years before we went to P and O but the company was known as NZS among the sea staff and Federal was hardly ever mentioned.

Norm
10th November 2011, 01:17
Good, quite a few photos appear with the title..for example "The Federal SS Cos. Suffolk, Sussex" etc. My pic of the Suffolk appears as the NZS Co. Suffolk. Glad I got it right. See:---- http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/33029/title/suffolk/cat/500

garry Norton
11th November 2011, 07:16
I served my time with USSCo and later with P&O. P&O was much better and I could take my wife and kids with me.

alan ward
19th April 2012, 11:40
I served my time with USSCo and later with P&O. P&O was much better and I could take my wife and kids with me.

I remember when Clan allowed officers to take their wives,I found the mate sitting in his office with his head in his hands saying`It`s the only chance I have to get away from her`

jg grant
19th April 2012, 21:00
hi, I have in my posession a book entitled,'crossed flags' which tells the history of NZSC and FSN. Available from libraries or probably Amazon. ISBN 0 905617 87 8 . Very interesting and with photographs. Regards Ronnie

fisherman
19th April 2012, 21:12
Suffolk a brilliant ship, 3 trips AB, bosun was John Duncan, old man was cap'n Sladen, happy days, Fisherman