Ben Line / Graeme Somner.
A definitive history and fleet list of the Ben Line founded in 1839 by brothers William and Alexander Thomson. Originally carrying coal and textiles from Leith to Italy and marble on the return journey, the brothers moved into carrying coal to Canada and timber on the return journey and this regular trade route quickly became the basis of their business for many years. The business was registered as William Thomson and Co. This history covers the company's move from sail to steam, and the expansion of the company's trade routes to include the Far East and Baltic, and the practice of naming its vessels after Scottish mountains. By the 1970s, the company was expanding into ship management, bulk carriers and offshore drilling and by 1977 owned four container ships, 13 cargo liners, three chemical tankers, one bulk carrier and five rigs and drill ships. Facing increased competition from containerisation and the decline in bulk trade the container ships were sold off by 1993, the cargo liners broken up or sold by 1982, and the bulk carriers and tankers sold by 1989. The rigs and drill ships were sold in the early 1990s. Ben Line Steamers Ltd and many of the subsidiaries were wound up in 2002. The Ben Line name continues in Asia as Ben Line Shipping Agencies Ltd. The fleet lists are organised chronologically and cover ships owned or managed by William Thomson and Co, Ben Line Steamers Ltd, Ben Line Ship Management Ltd (1973-1987) and Benmarine Ltd (1987-1993), vessels owned by W A C Thomson and rigs and drill ships. The book is also indexed by vessel name and is illustrated throughout with photographs.
|Publisher:||Ships in Focus,|
|Pages:||236 p. :|
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