C.S. Koo

Mr C S KooMr. C.S. Koo was born in 1886 in Ningbo, China. Growing up in impoverished conditions, Mr. C.S. Koo contributed to supporting his family financially at a young age.

In 1906, at the age of 21, Mr. C.S. Koo moved to Shanghai and joined a customs brokering house. During this time, not only did he learn a great deal about the shipping business, he also established a number of close relations within the trade. In 1917 at the age of 30, Mr. C.S. Koo founded Tai Chong Hsiang Customs Brokers Company. Eventually, the company expanded into the business of shipowning and incorporated the word “Steamship” into its company name. In 1931, two subsidiaries of Tai Chong Hsiang Steamship Company, Yung An Shipping and Yung Hun Shipping were also established heralding the beginning of shipping as a core business of the Group. Beginning with three second-hand steamships and providing cargo liner services, Mr. C.S. Koo rapidly built up the company. From negotiating coal cargo contracts from Tianjin, to operating a cargo and passenger service between Shanghai and Ningbo, the company also shipped cargo on a southern route to Guangzhou, Shantou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Wenzhou and a northern route to places such as Qingdao, Yantai and Tianjin.

At the outbreak of World War II,  Tai Chong Hsiang possessed a core shipping fleet which has grown to comprise 10 vessels, with an aggregate total deadwight tonnage of over 9,500 metric tones. This represented unprecedented fleet growth for a shipowner during those heady days of early 20th century shipping.

Recognizing abundance of opportunities in the burgeoning international seaport like Hong Kong, Mr. C.S. Koo relocated Tai Chong Hsiang Steamship Company to the then British Colony in 1949. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, the Koo family continued to commission the construction of vessels, and owned a dozen new ships by the 1970s.

Mr. C.S. Koo passed away in 1972 at the age of 86.