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Company growth and development

There's more to ship owning than buying a vessel and watching the money roll in. Find out what shipowners do and the risks they face.
The starting line

Ships have not always been owned by shipping companies. Learn how the needs of trade, government regulation, and the risks of the business meant that shipping companies became the major players in the shipping industry.
What a Shipping company does  What a shipping company does

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shipping companies became big businesses, dominating the shipping industry. They determined what ships looked like. They decided what shipyards could build. They employed most seafarers and set their wages. They set schedules and rates for cargo and passengers. In many cases their titles became household names.
Lines of development

Some shipping companies operate regular `liner` services, others run `tramps`; many specialise in one trade or type of ship. Learn about the variety of companies and their various businesses.
 Picture of a ship in dock
Picture of a ship being loaded with cargo  A precarious business: surviving as a shipowner

Shipping is a very risk business. Discover some of the threats to a successful shipowning business, and what can be done about them.
Recognisable lines: shipping company identity

As they grew in importance, shipping lines wanted to stamp their identity on their ships. For instance, they gave their ships names in a series. Find out how the names of their ships and their colours helped to brand the company.

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Recognisable lines: shipping company identity

What a shipping company does

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What proportion of the world's steamships were British in 1900?
  a third
a half
one in ten

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