Wednesday, 8 May 2013

PAKISTAN SHIPPING LINES


In the year 1957-58 it was noted that Pakistan did not have any share of cargo in foreign liner trades of the country. No shipping company had the resources or ships to take on this share. In theory and according to International norm, the trade was to be divided in the ratio of 40% for exporting country’s cargo, 32% for importing country’s cargo and remaining for third countries.

Ship-owners therefore decided on a scheme to jointly form a company to take advantage of this norm and obtain Pakistan’s legitimate share.

Pakistan Shipping Lines (PSL)  which was the brainchild of Mr. Abdul Hameed Ismail and Mr. Eddie Dinshaw was established on 05 May, 1959. All nine ship owners were the directors in Pakistan Shipping Companies with share of Rs.10,000 each. The first office was located in the small premises of Pan Islamic Steamship at Dunoley Road, Karachi. First ship to load from Chalna, East Pakistan for Dundee with full load of Jute under this conference line was SS Chittagong City.

Nine ships were required to meet the demand of the tonnage. In principal  it was  decided  to  demand Pakistan’s share from the two main shipping conferences – the Karmahom (Karachi – Marmagoa – Home) and the Europe Bay of Bengal Conference.

The routing of the ships was KarachiChittagong / Chalna – Europe (UK / N. Continent) and back.

One ship each from the existing companies was in the hands of the Board of Directors appointed by the individual company. By mutual agreement Mr. Qasim Dada was appointed Chairman, Mr. Eddie Dinshaw the Managing Director and Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Qureshi was  appointed  as  the  Manager.  On Mr. Dinshaw leaving the country in 1971 Mr. Cyrus Cowasjee took over his functions despite not having any official appointment.

The enterprise was run quite successfully carrying Pakistan’s full share of the trade and enjoying the full benefit of the conference pooling system till 1963-64 when National Shipping Corporation (NSC) was formed. NSC demanded a share in the business which had to be reluctantly given to them. However the arrangement continued till nationalization in 1974 when NSC took over the entire Pakistan share and PSL ceased to exist.

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