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West Coast Shipping Company

South Australian, 1906 - 1913

Institution: West Coast Shipping Company
In 1906 West Coast Shipping Company was formed. The far west coast had been poorly served in the past but in the next few years would experience excellent service as a number of companies competed for its trade. ASC placed the Paringa on the Spencer Gulf run, and in 1912 added the Morialta. West Coast Shipping responded with Wandana, 1000 tons, delivered in May 1913.

ASC's Rupara began a weekly service to the far west; in reply to this competition West Coast Shipping placed Wandana on the more lucrative Spencer Gulf trade in direct opposition to ASC and its Morialta. The competition became ruthless: ASC now encroached on Gulf Steamship Company's territory, trading to Kangaroo Island and lower Yorke Peninsula. By late 1913 the small companies, Gulf Steamship and West Coast Shipping merged and formed Coast Steamships. They owned Karatta, Warrawee, Wandana, Warooka and Kopoola. They hoped the union would be strong enough to withstand the competition of Adelaide Steamship Company. Their hope was in vain. ASC, with the resources of their interstate trade and large fleet, were not prepared to lose the Gulf trade. They threw additional ships into service in the Gulfs and offered cut-throat rates that could have but one result for their smaller competitor. By late 1914 the competitors were at the negotiating table and by late January 1915 Adelaide Steamship Company bought Coast Steamships for cash and shares. However Coast Steamships remained as a subsidiary company of ASC and operated Karatta and Yalata until 1966. By this time maritime trade in South Australia was dwindling, taken over by road transport.