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Ocean Group plc was a major Britishmarker transport business. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The Company was founded by Alfred and Philip Holt as the Ocean Steamship Company to provide a steamship service known as the Blue Funnel Line between the United Kingdommarker and Chinamarker. It was generally known as Holts and had a trademark blue funnel on its ships. For many years it used Swire Group as it shipping agents. In 1947 it formed Malayan Airways.

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1965. In 1969 it joined forces with British & Commonwealth Holdings, Furness Withy and P&O to form Overseas Containers Limited to exploit the introduction of containerization. In 1972 it acquired William Cory, a major shipping agent, and the following year, it changed its name to Ocean Transport & Trading. In 1986 it withdrew Overseas Containers Limited and in 1990 it renamed itself Ocean Group.

In 2000 it merged with NFC plc to form Exel plc.


  1. Ocean Line Museum: History
  2. NFC and Ocean forge £3.2bn alliance to exploit e-commerce The Independent, 22 February 2000

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