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BHP Shipping was an Australian ship transport and shipbuilding arm of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited.

BHP Shipping traces its origins to 1915 when BHP chartered the SS Emerald Wings to transport its first load of iron ore from Whyalla to Newcastle on 19 January 1915. In 1917, shipping agent William Scott Fell & Co arranged for BHP to purchase a share in the steamer SS Koolonga. BHP purchased the ship outright on 30 July 1918 and it was renamed SS Iron Monarch. The BHP Shipping Department was formed on that date, headed up by who had previously assisted in the shipping arrangements for the 1909 Nimrod Expedition and served on the Advisory Committee to the 1917 Ross Sea Party rescue. Captain William Halley, former master of the Emerald Wings, became Marine Superintendent of the Shipping Department. BHP Shipping was established as a subsidiary shipping line for the parent company in 1921.

As early as 1923 the company considered building its own ships but instead decided to manufacture steel hull plates, a major customer being the Commonwealth Shipping Line. However in 1939 the company accepted a government request to establish a shipbuilding facility at Whyalla. By 1940 the BHP Whyalla Shipyard had five slipways capable of building ships up to 15,000GT. The first ship constructed at the shipyard was HMAS Whyalla. Between 1941 and 1978, the shipyard produced 63 vessels, of which 15 were built as BHP property. BHP shipping also chartered additional vessels constructed in Whyalla.

Following World War 2, BHP Shipping acquired more bulk carries to carry iron ore, coal and steel products. The ships increased in size up to the 1980s when demand for steel began to decline. From that time some of the ships were used to carry coal, coke and iron ore to export customers.

In December 1983, BHP Shipping was absorbed into BHP Transport Ltd.

BHP Shipping transferred wharves and shore operations to each refinery site ahead of the demerger of BlueScope Steel in 2002. BlueScope also inherited several of the ships.

The remaining fleet is part of BHP Transport and Logistics Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton.



Fleet summary

Name Type Entered BHP service Left BHP service Disposition Fate
SS Emerald Wings (later SS Iron Baron) General cargo 01915-01-01-00001915 (chartered)
01919-10-20-000020 October 1919 (purchased)
01929-11-13-000013 November 1929 Sold to E B Aaby Sank off Texel on 11 October 1955
SS Southborough General cargo 01915-01-01-00001915 (chartered) 01918-05-01-0000May 1918 Returned to Hazlewood Shipping Co Ltd Sunk by German submarine U-110 off Scarborough on 16 July 1918
SS Iron Chief (1st) General cargo 01916-01-01-00001916 01928-04-01-00001 April 1928 Wrecked off Diamond Head on 1 April 1928
SS Omana General cargo 01917-07-19-000019 July 1917 01917-07-21-000021 July 1917 Returned to Omana S S Pty Co Ltd Broken up July 1959
SS Koolonga (later SS Iron Monarch) General cargo 01917-10-01-0000October 1917 (part purchased)
01918-07-30-000030 July 1918 (purchased outright)
01937-01-01-00001937 Sold to Madrigal & Co Bombed by US Navy aircraft in Manila Bay on 13 November 1944
SS Iron Prince (1st) General cargo 01919-01-01-00001919 01923-04-19-000019 April 1923 Wrecked on Cape Howe
SS Grelwin (sometimes written as Grelwyn) General cargo 01920-08-01-0000August 1920 01921-02-01-0000February 1921 Returned to Scott Fell Shipping Co Unknown
SS Westborough Steel cargo 01920-09-01-0000September 1920 01924-03-01-0000March 1924 Returned to Hopkins, Jones & Co Sunk off Stavanger on 4 April 1943
SS Iron Knob General cargo 01923-10-09-00009 October 1923 01955-01-01-00001955 Sold to Panatiotis Vrangos Sank in heavy seasin the Indian Ocean on 15 July 1957
SS Iron Crown General cargo 01923-01-01-00001923 (chartered) 01943-01-01-00001943 Sunk by Japanese submarine I-27 off Gabo Island on 4 June 1942
SS Iron Master General cargo 01923-10-09-00009 October 1923 01957-07-01-0000July 1957 Sold to Cambray Prince Steamship Co Ltd Broken up March 1959
SS Iron Master (2nd) Bulk cargo 01923-11-16-000016 November 1923 01945-09-13-000013 September 1945 Sold to Cambray Prince Steamship Co Ltd Broken up December 1959
SS Iron Warrior (1st) General cargo 01925-01-01-00001925 01957-06-11-000011 June 1957 Sold to Onfrio Jacomino Sank off Cheung Chau during Typhoon Ruby on 5 September 1964
SS Iron Chief (2nd) General cargo 01930-01-01-00001930 01934-01-01-00001934 Sold to Essex Oak Sank off Dover on 13 June 1963
SS Iron Baron (2nd) Ore carrier 01936-01-01-00001936 01966-01-01-00001966 Sold to Australia Pacific Shipping (H.K.) Ltd Broken up in 1969
SS Iron King Ore carrier 01936-01-01-00001936 01967-01-01-00001967 Sold to Golden Star Shipping Company Broken up in 1970
SS Iron Chieftain Ore carrier 01937-01-01-00001937 01942-01-01-00001942 Sunk by Japanese submarine I-24 off Manly on 3 June 1942
SS Iron Knight (1st) Ore carrier 01937-01-01-00001937 01943-01-01-00001943 Sunk by Japanese submarine I-21 off Bermagui on 7 February 1943
SS Kenilworth General cargo 01941-01-01-00001941 01947-01-01-00001947 Returned to Commonwealth Government Shipping Control Board Broken up March 1959
SS Iron Monarch (2nd) Ore carrier 01943-03-28-000028 March 1943 01972-01-01-00001972 Sold to Great Fareastern Ltd Broken up October 1972
SS Iron Duke (originally SS Iron Duke II) Ore carrier 01943-03-28-000028 March 1943 01970-07-01-0000July 1970 Sold to Pac Trade Navigation Co Broken up September 1971
SS Iron Yampi General cargo 01947-09-01-00001 September 1947 01975-09-26-000026 September 1975 Sold to Nissho Iwai Co Ltd Broken up November 1975
SS Iron Kimberley General cargo 01949-04-04-00004 April 1949 01972-09-01-0000September 1972 Sold to Wiltopps (Asia) Ltd Broken up October 1972
SS Bellerby General cargo 01950-05-01-0000May 1950 (chartered) 01951-05-01-0000May 1951 Returned to Scott Fell Shipping Co Broken up January 1972
SS Iron Derby General cargo 01951-01-01-00001951 01972-01-01-0000January 1972 Sold to Wiltopps (Asia) Ltd Broken up February 1972
SS Iron Wyndham General cargo 01953-01-01-00001953 01976-10-16-000016 October 1976 Sold to Union Bros Marine Corp Broken up January 1979
SS Iron Whyalla (1st) General cargo 01954-06-01-0000June 1954 01979-06-01-00001 June 1979 Sold to Selco (Hong Kong) Ltd Broken up July 1979
SS Iron Knight (2nd) General cargo 01955-06-01-0000June 1955 01971-01-01-00001971 Sold to Great Fareastern Ltd Broken up October 1971
SS Iron Spencer (1st) Ore carrier 01957-01-01-00001957 01979-09-27-000027 September 1979 Sold to Jehow Trading Co Broken up January 1980
SS Iron Flinders (1st) Ore carrier 01959-01-01-00001959 01977-11-01-0000November 1977 Sold to Goldwills (Hong Kong) Ltd Broken up May 1978
SS Age General cargo 01959-07-01-0000July 1959 (chartered) 01968-07-01-0000July 1968 Returned to Australian Steamships Pty Ltd Wrecked off Paluan on 17 October 1970
SS Iron Dampier (1st) Ore carrier 01961-01-01-00001961 01978-01-01-00001978 Sold to Goldwills (Hong Kong) Ltd Broken up May 1978
SS Iron Warrior (2nd) General cargo 01961-03-01-0000March 1961 01975-02-01-0000February 1975 Sold to Hi-Firm Corporation Broken up July 1975
MV Iron Clipper Bulk carrier 01964-12-19-000019 December 1964 (chartered) 01975-06-01-0000June 1975 Returned to Anglo-Pacific Shipping Company Ltd Broken up May 1984
MV Iron Cavalier Bulk carrier 01965-11-04-00004 November 1965 (chartered) 01975-06-01-0000June 1975 Returned to Anglo-Pacific Shipping Company Ltd Broken up May 1984
SS Iron Hunter Ore carrier 01968-10-24-000024 October 1968 01982-07-23-000023 July 1982 Sold to Saudi Pride Shipping Co Ltd Broken up December 1982
MV Iron Endeavour Panamax bulk carrier 01969-01-01-00001969 (chartered) 01983-03-02-00002 March 1983 Returned to Nile Steamships Company Sank off Port Elizabeth on 26 May 1993
MV Iron Somersby Bulk carrier 01971-01-01-00001971 (chartered) 01986-12-14-000014 December 1986 Returned to Ropner Shipping Co Ltd Broken up April 1993
MV Iron Banbury General cargo 01972-01-01-00001972 (chartered) 01975-12-18-000018 December 1975 Returned to Alexander Shipping Co Ltd Broken up September 2001
MV Iron Baron (3rd) General cargo 01972-02-01-0000February 1972 (chartered)
01980-03-04-00004 March 1980 (purchased)
01986-12-14-000014 December 1986 Sold to Epping Marine Co Ltd Broken up Obtober 1986
MV Iron Parkgate Bulk carrier 01973-06-01-0000June 1973 (chartered) 01986-07-07-00007 July 1986 Returned to Nytoncrest Pty Ltd Broken up July 1985
MV Iron Sirius Bulk carrier 01973-10-01-0000October 1973 (chartered) 01974-10-01-0000October 1974 Returned to Nytoncrest Pty Ltd Broken up July 1986
MV Iron Monarch (3rd) General cargo/ro-ro 01973-09-12-000012 September 1973 02002-01-01-00002002 Transferred to BlueScope Steel Still in service
MV Iron Duke (2nd) General cargo/ro-ro 01974-01-01-00001974 01986-01-10-000010 January 1986 Sold to Loy Key Shipbreakers Broken up April 1986
MV Iron Cumberland Bulk carrier 01974-06-01-0000June 1974 (chartered) 01986-11-25-000025 November 1986 Returned to Glentara Ltd Sank near the Pitcairn Islands on 14 June 1987
MV Iron Arnhem General cargo/ro-ro 01974-10-10-000010 October 1974 01990-12-01-0000December 1990 Sold to Pacific International Lines Pty Ltd Still in service
MV Iron York General cargo/ro-ro 01974-10-10-000010 October 1974 01985-05-29-000029 May 1985 Sold to Pacific International Lines Pty Ltd Broken up December 1999
MV Iron Kestrel Bulk carrier 01974-12-21-000021 December 1974 (chartered) 01985-05-29-000029 May 1985 Returned to Ropner Shipping Co Ltd Broken up Broken up May 2003
MV Iron Kerry-Kirby Bulk carrier 01974-12-21-000021 December 1974 (chartered) 01985-05-29-000029 May 1985 Returned to Ropner Shipping Co Ltd Broken up Broken up May 2003
MV Iron Capricorn Bulk carrier 01974-12-21-000021 December 1974 01990-10-15-000015 October 1990 Sold to Athenian Faith S.A. Still in service
MV Mundoora General cargo 01975-01-01-0000January 1975 (chartered) 01976-01-01-0000January 1976 Returned to Associated Steamships Sank in the Arabian Sea on 9 September 1984
MV Iron Mittagong Ore carrier 01976-12-08-00008 December 1976 (chartered) 01982-03-03-00003 March 1982 Returned to Bulkships Ltd Broken up December 1982
MV Iron Gerrigong Ore carrier 01976-12-20-000020 December 1976 (chartered) 01978-05-26-000026 May 1978 Returned to Bulkships Ltd Broken up October 1985
MV Iron Bogong Bulk carrier 01977-08-29-000029 August 1977 (chartered)
01983-01-14-000014 January 1983 (purchased)
01983-02-16-000016 February 1983 Sold to China Dismantled Vessels Trading Corp Broken up March 1983
MV Iron Carpentaria Bulk carrier 01978-04-01-0000April 1978 02003-01-01-0000January 2003 Broken up December 2003
MV Iron Curtis Bulk carrier 01978-04-01-0000April 1978 02003-01-01-0000January 2003 Broken up December 2003
MV Iron Shortland Bulk carrier 01979-01-01-00001979 01996-01-01-00001996 Sold to Everbird Corporation N.V. Broken up December 2005
MV Iron Stuart Bulk chemical tanker 01979-01-01-00001979 02006-02-10-000010 February 2006 Sold to Jebsens Group Broken up February 2011
MV Iron Myarra Ore carrier 01980-05-02-00002 May 1980 (chartered) 01983-05-07-00007 May 1983 Returned to Alcoa Australia Broken up October 1983
MV Iron Baron (4th) Bulk carrier 01980-01-01-00001980 01999-01-01-00001999 Ran aground in the mouth of the Tamar River on 10 July 1995. Scuttled off Flinders Island on 30 July 1995.
MV Iron Whyalla (2nd) Bulk carrier 01981-01-01-00001981 02001-01-26-000026 January 2001 Sold to Marmaras Navigation Broken up December 2009
MV Iron Spencer (2nd) Bulk carrier 01981-01-01-00001981 02000-03-01-0000March 2000 Sold to Marmaras Navigation Broken up December 2009
MV Iron Prince (3rd) Bulk carrier 01981-01-01-00001981 02000-03-01-0000March 2000 Sold to Marmaras Navigation Broken up May 2011
MV Iron Newcastle Bulk carrier 01985-01-01-00001985 01999-06-23-000023 June 1999 Sold to Cobelfret Bulk Carriers N.V. Broken up April 2011
MV Iron Kembla Bulk carrier 01986-01-01-00001986 02005-07-02-00002 July 2005 Sold to Tip Top Invest Panama Broken up March 2011
MV Iron Pacific Bulk carrier 01986-05-30-000030 May 1986 01998-03-15-000015 March 1998 Sold to Partrederiet Bergesen Goic Da Broken up July 2011

References

  1. Sir Douglas Mawson (no date given). The Home of the Blizzard, being the story of the Australasian Antarctic expedition, 1911–1914 Vol. I. Ballantyne Press. p. Introduction.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. "The Relief of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party". The Geographical Journal 49 (3): 218. March 1917. doi:10.2307/1779498. 

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