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Ibadan Palm

Vessel type Cargoship
Year launched 1959
Cargo type Palm oil
Country of build United Kingdom

Palm Line was a relatively short-lived British shipping company, specialising in the carriage of palm oil from West Africa, and the 5,658grt cargoship Ibadan Palm operated for almost half the firm's lifespan.

The build

The first of four sisterships in the second phase of an ambitious fleet modernisation programme, Ibadan Palm was built on the Tyne by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson. and sailed on its maiden voyage to West Africa in October 1959.

The ship featured full air conditioning of the midships accommodation – something welcomed by the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers' Association (a Nautilus predecessor union), which had been campaigning for the compulsory adoption of air conditioning on vessels trading to the tropics.

Palm Line

Palm Line had been established in 1949 by the soap manufacturer Lever Bros (subsequently Unilever). The firm had been involved in shipping since the 1920s, developing its own fleet under the United Africa Company banner to carry palm oil, groundnut oil, palm kernels and other raw materials to the company's Merseyside factory.

Palm Line operated as a common carrier on the West African trades, and Ibadan Palm was equipped with three bipod masts, giving clear weather decks to enable the carriage of substantial cargoes of log timber. The ship carried a wide range of cargoes on the outbound voyages from Liverpool and northern European ports.

Like other Palm Line ships, Ibadan Palm was especially designed for operating in the narrow and shallow creeks of West Africa, with an overall length of just 460ft and a draft of just over 25ft.


In the early 1970s, the Palm Line fleet began to be cut back in response to increasingly depressed trading conditions. Ibadan Palm was the first of the 'I-class' ships to be sold, passing to Kuwait-based owners in 1978 and being renamed Hind. In the following year the ship was switched to the Hong Kong flag and renamed Arunkamal.

Ibadan Palm was broken up at Gadani Beach early in 1983, two years before Palm Line was sold to Ocean Transport & Trading of Liverpool. In 1989, the new owners decided to withdraw from the West African trades and sold Palm Line and its trading rights to the French company Delmas Vieljeux.

Ibadan Palm Fact File


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