Farewell Lykes Line

May 11, 2005
Author: P&S




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For over fifty years they’ve been calling at South African ports but now the name and funnel of a Lykes Line ship is set to disappear over the horison.

The reason is that parent company CP Ships has decided in its wisdom to do away with the well-established brand names of seven shipping companies under its umbrella. In future the likes (no pun intended) of Lykes Line, ANZDL, Canada Maritime, Cast, Contship Containerlines, Italia Line, and TMM Lines will all simplay become part of CP Ships.

The change is due to take place during the course of this year because, says CP Ships’ chairman Ray Miles, “We are listening to our customers and our own people. They have told us they prefer us to simplify our business and trade under a single brand.”

Miles acknowledges that multiple branding was a key element of CP Ships’ core strategy, which helped maintain customer loyalty and build further on strong regional positions following each acquisition.

“Our aims, which we achieved, were not to lose any business when we acquired a new line and then make the business grow. But now that our acquisitions are fully integrated and will be on the same operational and financial systems later in the year, it is time to move on.” Ho hum…

CP Ships operates a fleet of about 80 vessels and last year carried 2.3 million TEU.

More pertinent to South Africa however, Lykes Line is one of the longest established shipping lines from the United States whose ships have been running an unbroken service between the North American East Coast and South African ports since the 1950s.

Who will have forgotten the Aimee Lykes that tore out her bottom on the Aliwal Shoal in October 1963 while on her maiden voyage to South Africa, making for one of the biggest ship repairs locally in many years.

Canadian Pacific, now CP Ships bought Lykes Lines in 1997. However, considering the present good trading conditions one may hopefully expect their vessels, even in the guise of CP Ships, to continue calling for some years to come.


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