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Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij 1888-1967

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Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij 1888-1967

NL: -vertaling volgt later-

EN: The Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) was a major DUTCH shipping company, that maintained the sea connections between the islands of INDONESIA · formely Netherlands East Indies or NEI · and later expanded its services also to AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and AFRIKA. The KPM was founded by the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland -SMN- and the Rotterdamsche Lloyd -RL- on January 1st, 1888 and took over the ships and lines from its predecessor the Nederlandsch Indische Stoomboot Maatschappij -NISM- founded in 1865 by William MACKINNON · British India Steam Nav. Co. · and on 1 January 1891 started the service with 29 ships, 13 Dutch new buildings and the 16 ships of the NISM.

In 1902 the KPM together with the SMN and RL founded de Java China Japan Line -JCJL- later Java China Paketvaart Lijnen -KJCPL- or Royal Interocean Line -RIL- and in 1908 the Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Unie to exploit services and lines to countries outside Netherlands East Indies. After World War I the company owned 92 ships of total 159,960 GRT and 5 passenger ships were building: · Plancius · Tasman · Bontekoe · Swartenhondt · Van der Wijck · also 4 new cargo ships were ordered.

The Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij -KPM- was well-established by the outbreak of World War II and had 140 ships in service ranging from small vessels to the famed trio of passenger vessels · Boissevain · Ruys · Tegelberg · which operated the South Africa, Java /Japan route and the passengers ships · Nieuw Holland · & · Nieuw Zeeland · to Australia and New Zealand. During the war the KPM lost a total of 98 ships -171,064 GRT.

After World War II a rebuilding programme was started to make up for the heavy losses, but the economic recovery was delayed by political unrest in the Indonesian Archipelago and in 1949 the Dutch East Indies became the independent nation of Indonesia. In 1953 the Nederlandse Tank- en Paketvaart Maatschappij -NTPM- was founded with the purpose of building cargo ships and tankers for chartering these ships to the Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaartmaatschappij -VNS- and Shell. In 1957 the Indonesian Government proclaimed a strike for all the Indonesian workers of KPM and demanded a surrender of the KPM fleet to Indonesia so the KPM was forced in 1958 to leave Indonesia and the head office moved from Jakarta to Singapore. The period between 1958 and 1967 saw a re-orientation because all the services in the Indonesian Archipelago were ended and so most ships were used in other lines and services outside Indonesia or sold for scrapping or further trading. All the remaining passenger ships were used in Royal Interocean Lines -RIL- which is the English name of the KJCPL.

In 1958 the KPM took over all the shares from the Oranje Lijn and so find employment for the bigger ships in the liner service between Europe and Canada, but this was not a great success and 50% of the shares were sold in 1959 to the Holland America Line -HAL- and in 1970 the Oranje Line was liquidated. In 1961 the Hollandse Vrachtvaart Maatschappij -HVM- was founded to exploit ships in the tramp trade. Most ships were already used in service of the Koninklijke Java China Paketvaart Lijnen -KJCPL- after the war and so in the end of 1966 the KPM was taken over by KJCPL who had outgrown her founder in 1902. The NTPM and HVM came under control of the KJCPL. The ships and their crews continued the services until the company joined Nedlloyd in 1977.


Schepen KPM o.a.

  • Plancius
  • Tasman
  • Bontekoe
  • Swartenhondt
  • Van der Wijck
  • Boissevain
  • Ruys
  • Tegelberg

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