Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,024 pages of information and 229,410 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Robert MacAndrew

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1770 William MacAndrews from Elgin started a business in Liverpool selling fresh fruit imported from Spain. He passed the business to his sons.

1853 Robert MacAndrews and Co was founded in London as shipbrokers and shipowners.

1857 Acquired a small steamer for use in the Spanish trade.

Several Spanish subsidiaries were established.

By 1900 the company had 23 ships under the Spanish flag and 7 under the British flag.

WW1 the company lost 7 ships. Took over the Liverpool-based Hall’s Line.

1917 the MacAndrews family sold the business to Owen Cosby Philipps. A new company, MacAndrews and Co Ltd, was formed as a subsidiary of Philipps’ Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. All of the ships were transferred to the British flag.

The MacAndrews fleet was rebuilt and expanded, initially using war-standard vessels, then new motor-ships built by Harland and Wolff, the Royal Mail Group’s shipbuilder.

1930 The Kylsant group collapsed. MacAndrews & Co Ltd was operated by the trustees until the end of 1935

1935 Acquired by Andrew Weir and Co Ltd, as a subsidiary for their United Baltic Corporation.

WW2 the ships were used as anti-aircraft ships, convoy rescue vessels and store carriers.

Postwar: the rebuilding programme modernised the fleet.

By 1973 the fleet was down to 3 ships, plus chartered tonnage.

1977 the ships were transferred to United Baltic Corporation but MacAndrews continued operations using group and other chartered vessels.

1977 An integrated road/sea service was introduced under the name MacPak.

2001 the MacAndrews name was replaced by AWS Iberian Services and the following year the business was sold to the French CMA-CMG.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Macandrews Line [1]