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Largest Fleet Of Ships

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  #1  
Old 17th July 2007, 17:36
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Largest Fleet Of Ships

At the hight of the British Merchant Navy which company/Line had the largest amount of ships. I know City Line had a lot of ships as well as the Port Line. Anyone know the answer,this is not a quiz I would just like to know the name of the company.
John
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  #2  
Old 17th July 2007, 17:56
jock paul jock paul is offline  
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Only a guess, how about Clan Line? Cheers, jock.
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  #3  
Old 17th July 2007, 18:15
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Not too sure but seem to remember when I sailed with BTC, before I returned to Canada back in the 40/50`s seeing a card or list saying BTC had 175 vessels at that time.Perhaps some long serving BTC/BP mariners could verify this
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  #4  
Old 17th July 2007, 18:32
PollY Anna PollY Anna is offline  
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BP would be good but P.& O. would also be a good runner as they had interests in lots of other companies.

Ron
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  #5  
Old 17th July 2007, 19:00
Derbyroy Derbyroy is offline  
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largest fleet

Shell must be up in top few ,with all their Bunkering boats as well as deep sea ships ?
derby
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  #6  
Old 17th July 2007, 19:21
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I always thought it ws BP.
But B & C at their height was about 120
P & O was i think a bit bigger.
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  #7  
Old 17th July 2007, 20:19
John_F John_F is offline
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I think it probably depends on what you use as a measuring stick & when you consider which were the peak years of the British Merchant Navy. During the late 50s, early 60s, BP was certainly a front runner in terms of number of vessels & deadweight tonnage. In 1958/59 when I joined BP they had about 130 deep sea vessels, all registered in London. I cannot say what was the total deadweight tonnage but as they owned some of the largest vessels (in dwt terms) in the world then I suspect they were also the world leaders. Shell's total world wide fleet was possibly larger but scattered under a variety of flags, although the UK flagged fleet was probably the largest in the group but not the largest in the UK.
I'm open to argument though.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #8  
Old 17th July 2007, 20:46
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I was after the large ship count (not bunkering type) yes Clan had many and so did Ben Line and Glen,keep them coming guys.
John
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  #9  
Old 17th July 2007, 20:52
K urgess K urgess is offline
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I always thought it was a tramp ship company like Bankline or Hungry Hogarths who had the largest fleet under one company house flag.
Probably company propaganda.

Bankline had a fleet of 45 sailing ships and in 1955 had 45 cargo ships in the fleet.
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  #10  
Old 17th July 2007, 21:08
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Hi John,
I would think that Blue Funnel must have had one of the largest dry cargo fleets in the 50's. I think that when I was there in 1952/56 they had about 65 ships. I remember reading the "Journal of Commerce" in those days which gave every Thursday a Blue Flue Fleet list and where all the vessels were or where they were due.

Trader.
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  #11  
Old 17th July 2007, 21:58
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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which shipping company used to boast of being able to put one of its ships into any major port in the world within 72 hours????????????
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  #12  
Old 17th July 2007, 21:58
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Quote from Board of Trade Aquaintances
Between 1914 and 1946 P&O acquired a number of other shipping companies, beginning with the British India Steam Navigation Company whose Chairman Lord Inchcape also became Chairman of P&O following the retirement of Sir Thomas Sutherland. The New Zealand Shipping Company, Federal Steam Navigation Company, Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand, Hain Steamship Company and James Nourse were taken over during the First World War. Orient Line, Mercantile Steamship, General Steam and Strick Line were acquired soon afterwards, Moss Hutchison Line and New Medway Steam Packet Company in the 1930s, and Eastern & Australian Steamship Company in 1946.

Under Lord Inchcape’s Chairmanship from 1915 to 1932, the combined fleet grew to a peak in the mid 1920’s of nearly five hundred ships of many different kinds, ranging from P&O’s traditional black-hulled passenger and mail liners to coasters, colliers, Thames pleasure steamers, state-of-the-art refrigerated cargo liners on the New Zealand/UK service, and passenger/cargo ships of all shapes and sizes trading along the coasts of India, the Gulf, and East Africa.

P&O itself continued to concentrate on large, fast passenger and mail steamers. Its best ships served as troopships and armed merchant cruisers in both World Wars. Several were sunk, but most losses suffered by the P&O Group - 85 ships in the First World War, 179 in the Second - were as part of the massive contribution by its cargo ships to the struggle to keep Britain supplied with munitions, raw materials and foodstuffs.

TomS
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  #13  
Old 17th July 2007, 22:36
randcmackenzie randcmackenzie is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkie2182 View Post
which shipping company used to boast of being able to put one of its ships into any major port in the world within 72 hours????????????
Bank Line.
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  #14  
Old 17th July 2007, 22:51
Jim MacIntyre Jim MacIntyre is offline  
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Following quote from introduction to Merchant Fleets Furness Withy by Duncan Haws
'Of all the compnaies in my 6,000 plus file Furness Withy has been among the most frustrating. My records sprawled across many companies and from Lloyds Registers I amassed over 600 FW ship names, excluding Houlder Bros, Prince and Manchester Liners'.
I suspect, John, you would have to subdivide your question - it would have to be either 'company' or 'line' because in their heydays shipping companies were made up of several shipping lines at any given time. In some cases only a percentage of a subsidiary was owned. Even then it will probably be tough to get a definitive answer.
An interesting thread to follow...
All the best
Jim MacIntyre
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  #15  
Old 17th July 2007, 23:08
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Shell or BP would have been well above the other companies in terms of numbers and tonnage.

Mick S
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  #16  
Old 17th July 2007, 23:33
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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bang on randc.................well done.

bank line..........any major port in the world, in 72 hours.

quite a claim........

best regards
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  #17  
Old 17th July 2007, 23:36
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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if i remember correctly....

it was esso international.............by which i mean........all the "esso" tankships under various flags.............

who claimed to have a complete crew "in the sky".........24/7 for ship reliefs worldwide

if true.......is amazing.

Last edited by sparkie2182 : 17th July 2007 at 23:38.
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  #18  
Old 18th July 2007, 00:07
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Looks like I opened a can of worms here,maybe we should only count the ships with company logos on the stack or house flags. My money is on BP then Shell.
John
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  #19  
Old 18th July 2007, 00:18
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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what about esso, john?

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  #20  
Old 18th July 2007, 03:04
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I think BP was bigger than Esso.
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  #21  
Old 18th July 2007, 03:24
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Most ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rogers View Post
I think BP was bigger than Esso.
John

You're right. I would put a lot of money on it. Between Shell and BP. That's based on the question of most ships under the british flag.

When i sailed with shell between 84-88, many of the older hands would often state the statistics of early to mid seventies and sometimes the statistics from just after WW2.

Mick S
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  #22  
Old 18th July 2007, 06:42
r.hirons r.hirons is offline  
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when i joined BP in 1967 i was told they had the largest fleet of privately owned ships in the world.
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  #23  
Old 18th July 2007, 07:43
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BlythSpirit BlythSpirit is offline  
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Quote:
when i joined BP in 1967 i was told they had the largest fleet of privately owned ships in the world.
Hardly privately owned when the majority holder in BP was the British Government!
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BlythSpirit

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  #24  
Old 18th July 2007, 09:19
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Greetings r hirons and a belated warm welcome to SN. Thanks for signing on and may you have many happy hours browsing the world of maritime news and chat. Bon voyage.
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  #25  
Old 18th July 2007, 10:20
PollY Anna PollY Anna is offline  
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Great thread I was impressed with the detail of P.& O. which went a long way to confirm my first thoughts. It would be interesting to get a final tally, but me thinks rather difficult. To lose so many ships in the 2nd WW gives a good lead to the general size of the Company and we all know the vast majority sailed the Red Duster. Still food for thought I suspect we will never get a final result.

Regards Ron
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