About P&O Maritime Services
P&O Maritime Services has grown from the initial ship chartering and ship agency business into a diverse company that provides specialist shipping solutions to varied clients including government agencies and commercial clients. Defence, security and marine science and research have become a key activity area. The cargo services businesses continue to successfully operate in remote localities and further demonstrate the niche shipping solutions the company can provide. Ship agency and chartering remain a part of the Company’s activities and thus allow comprehensive shipping expertise to be provided in the maritime environment.
P&O Maritime Services Pty Ltd originated from Beaufort Shipping Agency, the ship agency and operators for the P&O Steam Navigation Company vessels in Australia.
In the late 1960s, with the development of the offshore oil and gas industries in Australia, P&O transferred several vessels to Australia and in 1968 established P&O Offshore Services. They built and operated over 20 vessels in Australia and South East Asia.
During the 1980s, P&O entered Papua New Guinea, carrying copper concentrates along the river systems and coastal areas. Around this time P&O formed a joint venture in Singapore, Austen Maritime Services, with the Stena Group of Sweden to supply manning, agency, ship chandlery and other general services throughout South East Asia.
In 1990, a long term contract with the Australian Antarctic Division was secured to manage the design and build of the research supply and expedition icebreaker Aurora Australis. This vessel is owned, managed and crewed by P&O Maritime Services and provides cargo resupply, expeditioner transport, seasonal marine science and research in the Antarctic.
1997 saw rapid growth and diversification in the Company’s activities through numerous joint ventures for offshore oil and gas by way of International Offshore Services (IOS), defence through Defence Maritime Services (DMS) and cargo shipping services through Carpentaria Shipping Services.
P&O Maritime Services has continued to develop its research and science vessels capability, securing more ship management and operations contracts with various government agencies. It also acquired the Southern Supporter, currently on a long term charter to Fugro to support their geo-survey requirements for the Australian offshore oil and gas industry.
In 2005 P&O established operations in Europe, specifically to the Marine Institute Ireland’s marine science and research vessels and to England's Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
P&O Maritime Services contracted with Zinifex (now MinMetals Group) in 2007 for operations based in Karumba, Australia, while in 2009 they expanded into the United Arab Emirates with operation, crewing and maintenance of over 20 vessels for DP World at Jebel Ali and Port Rashid. Most recently, P&O Maritime Services commenced towage services to DP World at the Port of Sokhna, Egypt.
In 2009, P&O expanded operations into South America with the acquisition of 70% of the shares in the Dos Santos Group Bulk Barging business based in Paraguay, which provides pusher tugs and bulk barges operating on the Paraguay/Parana river waterway transporting grain and iron ore.