A recent Vancouver caller was the versatile vessel Erradale operated by Swire bulk, a subsidiary of China Navigation Compay whose history goes back to the early colonial days of Hong Kong. Erradale is formally described as as a BD39 logger of which the company operates, or has on order, 20 such vessels. The design is intended to be flexible for bulk cargoes, steel products, project cargoes, logs and lumber.
Built by Chengxhi Shipyard, Jiangyin, PRC and delivered in 2014
Owned and operated by China Navigation, Singapore
GRT 24,785 tons
DWT 39,757 MT
5 double skinned holds/hatches
Deck cranes 4 x 36 MT SWL (72 MT in tandem)
Main engine Wartsila 5RT-flex50-B Tier 2, MAX MCR 6,050kW
The Swire Group traces its history back to 1816 when Mr. John Swire (1793–1847) formed a small import-export company in Liverpool based mainly on the textile trade. Mr. Swire’s sons expanded the business overseas and it was under John Samuel Swire that the seeds were sown for the creation of a multi-national company to be reckoned with. In 1861, John Swire & Sons opened trade links with China and in 1866 the famous trading name Butterfield & Swire was established in Shanghai. Things went well until the declaration of the People's Republic of China when Butterfield & Swire was forced to cease activities in China and transferred its business to Hong Kong.
The China Navigation Company itself had been established in 1872 to operate paddle steamers on the Yangtze River but has grown to be the holding company for the group’s entire shipping and agency businesses. Although now headquartered in the UK, the company remains heavily committed to the Asia Pacific region. Mr. Barnaby Swire serves as Chairman and Mr. Merlin Swire as Chief Executive. To the general public the Swire Group is perhaps best known as the 45% owner of Cathy Pacific Airways whose origins date back to 1946 and whose business base remains in Hong Kong.
One other sideline. Swire Oilfield Services was established in 1979 and is one of the world's largest suppliers to the global energy industry including being a leading supplier of modular systems and offshore aviation services.
Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.