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5th June 2020
Title: Ships on the Shore
Author: Coates, Austin
Price: $84.50
Publisher: SCMP
Date Published: 1980
Specifications: HC., 266pp., 32 illustrations, 6.5" x 9.5", 900g.
Condition: Very good in dust jacket.
Copies in stock: 3
Category: Conglomerates More books in this category
Company: Hutchison Whampoa More books about this company
Book type: Company History
Hindsight ID: 85
Ships on the Shore

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Notes: The author states "The Company's formation in 1863 is the most significant commercial and industrial moment in Hongkong's history. It gave Hong Kong a new orientation, breathing life into what till then was an image derived from India." By the turn of the century, though its population was only 260,00, Hong Kong was the second largest port in the world, her own ships traversed the oceans, and, at times, her ship repair docks ranked the largest to be found. Coates traces the history of this industry from the mud banks of Whampoa to the docks and workshops of Hung Hom and Tai Koo. Along the way, the stories of the Whampoa company, it's engineers, managers, directors and its sometime suffering sometimes jubilant shareholders, is told. It is a story coincident with that of Hong Kong and is recounted with the light touch of a masterful writer. Throughout its long history the company shifted with the times, from repairs to shipbuilding, then, after WW II, to repairs again and a thriving business in specialised, and often ingenious, ship conversions. Later, following its merger with Hutchison, its urban locations having become highly valued, the property developments became a major source of profit, and in the subsidiary HIT the container business grew and then was complemented overseas in a series of acquisitions. "The coming of the cargo container brought about the most extraordinary change Hongkong has ever seen. Quite simply, merchant shipping deserted the Port of Victoria and moved out ... mainly around Kwai Ching and the Island of Tsing Yi ... one looked down from the Peak and saw the Port ... almost bereft of merchant ships."

Keys: Hong Kong, China, Asia, Ports, Hutchison, Whampoa, Butterfield and Swire, Sir Paul Chater, Hunghom, Docks, Dockyards, Robert Morton Dyer, Keswick, Lapraik, Minto, Whittall, Canton

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