De La Rama Steamship Company
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1938 - 1965
Family-owned Philippine shipping company that operated ships in inter-island and also foreign trade. Don Esteban de la Rama, former senator of Panay, founded this firm at Iloilo, Philippines, in October 1938 and embarked upon an ambitious building program at Trieste and Germany before WWII that resulted in five pre-war cargo ships and passenger/cargo vessels. In 1939, using the chartered Norwegian vessel Sorholt, de la Rama began a Philippines-California-New York Service. After the war, it expanded with older tonnage, and also acquired two relatively new freighters from the United States Maritime Commission. During the war, De la Rama operated three Liberty ships on behalf of the United States Maritime Commission. In 1949, the company instituted a joint United States-Philippines service with Swedish East Asiatic after selling its inter-island vessels to William Lines of Manila and divesting itself of its other vessels. The firm used chartered tonnage, mostly Scandinavian and British, after that, and was managed by Barber of New York. In 1965, De la Rama changed its corporate name to Blue Sea Line and eventually became part of the Norwegian Wilhelmsen Shipping Company.