S.S. Ore Chief Class Ships

S.S. Ore Chief
S.S. Ore Chief, lead ship in a trio of 60,000 deadweight ton ore carriers operated by Universe Tankships, a subsidiary of National Bulk Carriers.

S.S. Ore Chief Class Ships

Ore Chief was built by National Bulk Carriers, Kure Shipbuilding Division, Kure, Japan in 1954.  All three of these massive ore ships were built during that year, attesting to the capacity and productivity of the Kure yard. The ships were built to be chartered to U. S. Steel to haul iron ore from the Cerro Bolivar mines in Venezuela. Despite having two screws and rudders for improved navigation and maneuverability, the ships had difficulty in performing their designed tasks. They were of too deep draft to take a full load of ore down the Orinoco River. Never one to admit defeat, and certainly one to be galled at having a ship underway without a full load, Ludwig detailed a ship to meet these mammoths at the mouth of the river to top them up before sending them north. He also built large dredges to keep channels clear for his ships.

Ludwig's next ore ships were smaller, and had a shallower draft so they could navigate the river more easily while carrying a full load.

Click a ship's name below for a page of photos of these ships.

Ship Hull# Built GRT DWT Length Beam Comments
Ore Chief 36 1954 20,910 59,580 794' 116'5" Large twin-screw ore carrier. She was constructed with the wheelhouse amidship and accommodations in the stern. Sold to Spanish shipbreakers - Desguaces Condal - in 1976 who completed breaking on 25 June of that year.
Ore Transport 37 1954 20,910 59,580 794' 116'5" Ore Chief class twin screw ore carrier. Registered in Liberia, the Ore Transport sailed for Universe Tankships Inc. The vessel was bought by Leitch Transport (division of Upper Lakes Group) and renamed Canadian Transport in 1976. She operated in the St. Lawrence ore trade until 1978. For this 2-year period, The Canadian Transport was the largest ship under Canadian registry. Upon expiration of the contract, Canadian Transport was tied up in Tampa, FL then towed to Spain in September, 1978 for scrapping. She was 794 feet long, 116 feet 5 inches wide, and was capable of carrying in excess of 70,000 tons.
Ore Titan 38 1954 20,910 59,580 794' 116'5" Last of the Ore Chief class twin screw ore carriers.

S.S. Ore Titan
S.S. Ore Titan. When built, these ships were the largest afloat excepting only the large ocean liners and aircraft carriers.

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Created by A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.
Last updated on 20 February 2005