The Greenock S.S. Co. was formed in 1879 to operate services to the Persian Gulf, extended to Australia as required and in 1883 a route to the Gulf of Mexico was inaugurated. In 1891 services to South America replaced the Persian Gulf route. There were now two main services - Gulf of Mexico and Australia via South America or direct via Suez. In 1899 the Gulf Line was formed and in 1903 Christopher Furness acquired a controlling interest in the company. Gulf Line sold it’s interests in the South America trade to F. W. Ritson’s Branch Line in 1906 and after the Great War, the fleet declined and went into liquidation in 1929.