The Hong Kong Shipowners Association

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the following:

“By the middle of the 1950s a group of Chinese shipowners had been established in Hong Kong, operating small but expanding fleets of second-hand vessels. By dint of their origins in the environs of Shanghai and their common interest in shipping, they knew each other well enough and took to meeting regularly over meals, all of them glad to exchange experiences and talk over the issues that they faced. They soon realised that some of these issues, notably the problems of manning their ships with officers and finding crews, could not be solved individually and that power could only come with collective action. So they formalised their relationship in 1957, and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) was born.

HKSOA was established by Articles of Association that were incorporated on 29 November 1957 and signed by eleven companies, which were (in alphabetical order) as follows:

Fir Line Ltd, Great Southern Steamship Co. Ltd, Jebshun Shipping Co. Ltd, Nanyang Steamships & Enterprises Ltd, Pacific Steamship Co. Ltd, Ping An Steamship Co. Ltd, Shun Cheong Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, Tai Yip Co. Ltd, The Western Steamship Co. Ltd, Wah Kwong & Co. (HK) Ltd and World-Wide Steamship Co. Ltd.”(1)

The Hong Kong Shipowners Association was incorporated in 1957 by 11 local shipowners with the purpose of creating a forum for shipowners resident in Hong Kong.  Over the past 63 years, the Association has grown into one of the world’s largest Shipowner Associations, its members owning, managing and/or operating a fleet with a combined carrying capacity of over 200 million deadweight tonnes.

The Association welcomes into Associate membership Hong Kong resident companies supplying services to the shipping industry.  The composition of membership has enhanced the credibility of the Association within the local community and has given breadth and experience to its international status and relationships.

The Association arranges forums in which members are able to meet and discuss issues of concern, informs the membership of important changes in the shipping environment through educational seminars and circulars, and represents the interests of members in national and international meetings.  The Association is a member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS),  Asian Shipowners Association (ASA) and INTERTANKO, and cooperates closely with, amongst others, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through the Hong Kong Marine Department and the ICS, the International Labour Organisation (ILO),  BIMCO, INTERCARGO, the International Maritime Industries Forum (IMIF), and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

The Association’s chief purpose is to promote and protect the interests of the Hong Kong domiciled shipowners and ship managers as well as the large number of local professions and services upon whom they rely in the performance of their business.(2)

Hong Kong Shipowners Association


  1. Changing Places: The remarkable story of the Hong Kong Shipowners, Stephanie Zarach, Hong Kong Shipowners Association, 2007
  2. Hong Kong Shipowners Association website

This article was first posted on 8th November 2022.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Gibb, Livingston & Company Ltd, established in HK 1841, shipping lines and insurance
  2. European Settlements in the Far East – Part Five Trade and Shipping Lines in Hong Kong around 1900
  3. Ng Jim Kai (吳東啓) – Financier of the Chinese Revolution and Pioneer of the Garment and Shipping Industries in Hong Kong
  4. Andrew Weir Shipping and Trading Co.Ltd (Bank Line) – connection to Sha Lo Wan Mine, Lantau
  5. D.L. Wu, 伍德鄰, and the Taiship Shipping Group
  6. Richard C.K. Chan (陳卓堅): timber baron, shipping tycoon and stamp collector
  7. Kwik Djoen Eng, 郭春映, North Point shipping reclamation, 1920s
  8. Jebshun Shipping (捷順船務)

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