Arafura I

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Arafura I
ID No. 7105913
Type Containership
Gross Registered Tonnage 25,093 tons.
Builder Mitsubishi, Kobe. Yard No 897.
Delivery date Aug 1970.
Hull Steel.
Length Overall 211.5 m. LPP 200.0 m.
Width 30.1 m.
Propulsion mode Single screw.
Speed 23 kts.
Deadweight 22,650 tons.
Power Diesel.
Aspiration Turbocharged.
Generator voltage 440 V
Generator Frequency 60 Hz
Propeller Right hand
Propeller formation Cast.
Propeller material Bronze
Launched April 8th. 1970.
Scrapped April 2002


The following article is reproduced from the book "The China Navigation Company, A Pictorial History 1872- 2012". It is included here as it explains CNCo's involvement in the Australia Japan Container Line (AJCL)and the Asia Australian Express (AAE).

In the closing years of the 1960's, it became inreasingly clear that the future of the principal liner trades lay with cargo shipped in containers. Given the very substantial capital investment required to switch to container operations this revolution in shipping brought about a complete restructuring of the Far East-Australian trades, with the major players banding together to share the substantial costs of switching to container operations. One of the first and most successful of these combinations was the Australia Japan Container Line (AJCL). This joint service was formed in August 1968 by Overseas Container Lines - whose principal shareholders were P&O and Ocean Steam Ship Company (from 1973 known as Ocean Transport & Trading) - in conjunction with Australia West Pacific Line (AWPL), and Associate Container Transportation Limited (a combination of Blue Star, Port Line and Ellerman). The OCL stake in this group also included the historic partners China Navigation Co. and Eastern & Australan. In 1970, CNCo. chartered the Danish dry cargo vessel "Nanchang" ( ex "Hervang") to AJCL. - an arrangement that lasted 3 years until her sale. Thereafter AJCL operated two jointly-owned 1,150 TEU cellular container ships, "Ariake" and "Arafura" (II) in a consortium that also included some of the major Japanese lines. Meanwhile, in 1973, CNCo and Royal Interocean Lines ( later Nedlloyd), rationalised their services in the trade from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines to Australia, initially employing a rotation of conventional and semi-containerised vessels (CNCo contributing the newly acquired "Asian Exporter" ) These vessels were replaced with chartered-in containerships after the incorporation of the Asia Australia Express (AAE) in January 1974. From 1976, AAE operated in a consortium with the Australian National Line (ANL) and Orient Overseas Containers Limited (OOCL). In 1978 two new joint venture vessels "Asian Jade" and "Asian Pearl" were completed in Japan for AAE. The "Asian Pearl" being managed by CNCo. as it held a 13% interest in the vessel. This development led to the formation of Interocean Swire, a joint-venture agency to handle the AAE business in Sydney. By 1976 the agency was handling in excess of US$20,000,000 of freight. In 1977 the Brisbane and Melbourne offices were added when RIL becme part of Nedlloyd, the agency then being renamed Nedlloyd Swire Pty.

1987. P&O bought out Ocean Transport"s 53% share in OCL and became P&O Containers. In 1991 the joint venture services covered by AJCL and AAE were amalgamated to become P&O Swire Containers (POSC) in which Swire's held 26%. The "Asian Pearl" and the "Asian Jade" being subsequenly withdrawn from the serice. POSC operated "Arafura (II)" in a consortium with ANL, Mitsui OSK (MOL), NYK and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K line), serving Australia to North and East Asia. The Nedlloyd agency being closed and Swire Agencies now handling the CNCo. business in Sydney.

1996. Nedlloyd merged with P&O Containers.

2005. A.P.Moller Maersk group acquired P&O Nedlloyd Containers. CNCo sold out of its partnership wiyh POSC.


1970 - 1991 Registered owner :- Australia Japan Container Line Ltd.

1991. Renamed "Chitral"'

1993. Registered owner;- P&O Swire Containers Ltd.

1996. Renamed "Matilda Bay".

1998. Renamed "P&O Nedlloyd Tauranga".

April 2002. Broken up in China.

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