AUSTRALIAN SHIPPING LINES
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PATRICK STEAMSHIP Company Limited (1919)
also known as
JAMES PATRICK & Co Ltd (1925)
Became JAMES PATRICK & Co Pty Ltd from 1937 onwards
After several years at sea, James Patrick (later Captain) arrived in Australia by sailing ship in 1900, at the age of 20. From some point forward of this time, he served aboard the Archibald Currie fleet, the known as Currie Line, Melbourne. Qualified as a Master Mariner in 1908 he continued at sea, mainly in Asian trade. 1913 saw Currie Line sold to British-India Line, London. 1914-18 James Patrick served with the Royal Australian Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He then sought over the next decade to establish his own Australian shipping line, relying on old ships discarded by others. May 1919 purchased the Timaru and placed her in service between Tasmanian ports - Melbourne - Brisbane. September 1919 in partnership with Mr. F W Radford founded and established Patrick Steamship Co. Ltd
Purchased the Sealark 111 from the Royal Navy in 1920 and later the Induna and the schooner Abermama that was built 1918
In a complicated arrangement with A H Hassell (who chartered vessels from the North Coast S N Co, Sydney and placed them on the Tasmanian - mainland run), W Collin & Sons, Queensland, Gibson & Murdoch who owned the steamship Musgrave and the Brisbane based firm of Nixon-Smith & Bellgrove, Port agencies occurred. This concordance saw the Sealark 111 venture as far North as Townsville 1921 under the agency of Nixon-Smith & Bellgrove
This arrangement may have possibly seen James Patrick either charter or act as agent for the steamser Merimbula which then chartered by A H Hassell from the Illawarra Steamship Co
1920 chartered the Mawatta from the AUstralian Government, 1921 purchased the steamer Gabo from China-Australia Line. Continued operating the Tasmanian run from the main land as well as the servicing the Melbourne - Brisbane range
August 1921 he began to cut freight charges on certain lines of cargo plus, gave other concessions as the loading and discharging of vessels outside of wharves and /or alongside overseas vessels. This began a 'freight War' with other shipping Companies operating on the Australian coast
During 1924, went into voluntary liquidation yet quickly reformed in January 1925 as James Patrick & Company Limited in directing their coastal shipping fleet and stevedoring operations of their vessels
Problems mainly of competition from larger companies, beset the path to the late 1930s. Where undercutting the more established shipping concerns helped gain footing, later agreements with those shipping competitors in certain trading areas decided survival of this concern.
World War II saw James Patrick ships requisitioned by the Australian Government for the war effort. During that period, the stevedoring of other Australian Government requisitioned vessels as well as acting as ship agents as per Australian Government’s request realised greater experience in operations.
1941-42 J R Patrick was appointed the the Shipping Control Board, a Committee set up by the Australian Government at the outbreak of World War 2
Was also in 1942 a representative of The Independant Shipowners Association
Original founder Captain James Patrick died in 1945
1946 saw vessels chartered from other shipping concerns and Management duties granted by the Australian Government of post WW2 constructed vessels. This gave greater scope in operational procedures and applications with the then 'modern' design cargo vessels
A driving force with in the Company from the 1950's was Sir Reginald Reed who developed the stevedoring side of the business into the largest in Australia. From 1962 with the increasing rationalisation of the Australian coastal trade, they sold their last two vessels.
The company continued to provide ship agency services but also added to its operations shipwrighting services, line haul trucking and travel services.
Since the 1980's a string of mergers, joint business ventures and takeovers saw involvements with Howard Smith Ltd, ANL, Strang Stevedoring, Holyman Ltd, Mayne Nickless, TDG Logistics Ltd, CSX World Terminals, Toll Holdings Ltd, Virgin Blue, Brambles, Alpens Transport, and Ansett Ground Services Division
While some of those names were previously involved in Australian Shipping, none of the joint interests or takeovers saw any new shipowning by Patricks, where transport logistics and port setevdoring were the main embodiment of Company holdings.
August 2005 saw a hostile takeover of Patrick Holdings by Toll Holdings Ltd with success achieved 2006. From this juncture Patricks name ceased to exist whilst Toll Holdings divided operations into two listed entities on the ASX as Toll and Asciano
This webpage is dedicated to the Ships of the fleet, all those who sailed in them, their combined contribution to Australia and of course, the Master mariner Captain James Patrick and his vision.
Both Holymans and Howard Smith were founded by Master Mariners. Former Ship Captains where their resultant Company's evolved into great diversity of business holdings and product services