Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd is the oldest British shipping company. King George II had been on the throne of England for just three years when the brothers Ralph and Robert Clarke purchased an interest in a 300-ton sailing vessel. The year was 1730 and their limited trading activities were to develop during the next 270 years into the present Ship Owning and Ship Management business of Stephenson Clarke Shipping Limited.
Sons of the Reverend Ralph Clarke, a vicar of Long Benton , near North Shields, the two brothers took up seafaring Careers, becoming master mariners. They began buying shares in ships, in this way gradually establishing themselves as Ship Owners, although they also continued to serve at sea for some time.
Robert Clarke had two sons, John and Ralph. The former married Jane Stephenson, of North Shields, in 1775 and moved to London , where he was later joined by his brother to carry on the business of Ship Owning and coal factors. Thus were laid the foundations of the present shipping organisation.
Nowadays we operate a fleet of modern single deck bulk Carriers, ranging in size from 1100 dwt tonnes to 12000 dwt tonnes. These Vessels have been designed for ease of loading and discharging with large open hatches and holds. We also operate several small self load/unloading vessels of between 1250 dwt - 2800 dwt, these vessels are fully self sustained with excavator and bob cat.
We now carry a wide range of bulk cargoes including aggregates, alumina, grain, coal, fertilisers and steel. The open hatch configurations make the vessel suitable for project cargoes.
Though most of the fleet can trade world wide, we tend to trade mainly within Northern Europe, the Mediterranean (incl Black Sea), West Africa, the Atlantic Islands , Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea . We concentrate on keeping the fleet in these waters so that we can cover with confidence the tight loading dates required by some of our contract partners. We usually have a ready supply of tonnage to cover charter requirements in these areas.