Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Karachi Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

Importance of the Port of Karachi as one of the World’s strategic gateway, can be borne by the historical facts as we go back to the times of the invasion / exodus of Alexander The Great.

The geo political situation in the sub continent and the Arabian Peninsula, also population migration in the 30s and 40s drove many entrepreneurs of those times to cross the distance barriers. The southern ports of Cutch and Gujrat were vital links of the Karachi Port and Seth Hosainbhai Aboolally, the Head of Bandukwala Family who were established in the city since 1885, built with local expertise cargo cum passenger ship SS Haydri at BABA Island (Karachi). This vessel actively traded on the West Coast India route till 1944. After a short gap Karachi Steam Navigation Company Ltd. (KSNCL) was registered in Karachi with their first vessel “Pakistan Progress” which had the honour to fly Pakistan Flag for the first time in far away ports. This was followed by delivery in UK of “Pakistan Prosperity” in 1950 at the hands of Wife of High Commissioner Begum Rehmatullah in the presence of Lord Mayor of London. Pakistan Promoter, Pakistan Progress, Pakistan Protector joined the fleet to establish and consolidate the vital sea trade between Karachi and then East Pakistan ports of Chittagong, Chalna. KSNCL also successfully competed the then dominance of British India (BI) fleet both on the coastal and the Persian Gulf routes. KSNCL also provided a much needed link with Gwadar Port for export of dry fish to Colombo.

Karachi Steam Navigation Company Ltd also recruited cadets, trainee engineers and crew locally, who later made their career on other Pak and Foreign vessels. KSNCL was also Signatory of Pakistan Ship Owners Association, Pakistan Cooperative Ship Stores Ltd, Pakistan Shipping Lines and remained fully active till late sixties of the last century.

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