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A shipping line or shipping company is a
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared ...

company
whose line of business is ownership and operation of
ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying cargo or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally dist ...

ship
s. Shipping companies provide a method of distinguishing ships by different kinds of cargo: #
Bulk cargo Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported packaging, unpackaged in large quantities. Description Bulk cargo refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/ ...
is a type of special cargo that is delivered and handled in large quantities. # General cargo, now known as break-bulk cargo, refers to a wide assortment of goods that may be delivered to several ports around the world. # Oil became a crucial part of the shipping industry in the early 20th century. Its use varied from lubrication for developed machinery, burning in boilers and industrial plants, as well as for operating engines. Oil is also primarily shipped by specific shipping companies as opposed to other forms of transportation. This is considered a type of special cargo. The shipping of oil has become a debated issue due to the environmental impacts of both
oil spill An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into th ...
s and
oil tanker An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a ship designed for the bulk cargo, bulk transport of petroleum, oil or its products. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quant ...
s. # Passenger cargo is the business of transporting people on shipping lines for the purposes of relocation or recreation.Rodrigue, J. P. (2017). “Maritime Transportation”. ''The Geography of Transport Systems''. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from https://transportgeography.org/?page_id=1762 This became a growing industry near the turn of the twentieth century with the wide use of luxury
ocean liner An ocean liner is a passenger ship primarily used as a form of transportation across seas or oceans. Ocean liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes (such as for pleasure cruises or as hospital ships). Ca ...
s. Passenger cargo became a logistical challenge by attempting to balance pleasure voyage aspects with the structural limitations and requirements of the vessel. # Special cargo is a term used for one specific product being shipped to a specific port.Hardy, A. C. (1928). ''Seaways and Seatrade''. New York, NY: D. Van Nostrand Company. Inland shipping along rivers and other freshwater bodies are used to transport cargo to ports other than those along the coast. Inland shipping requires more infrastructure than ocean shipping. Rivers and lakes require infrastructure, such as river ports and
canal Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or engineered channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport vehicles (e.g. water taxi). They carry free, calm surface flo ...

canal
s, to be considered developed and ready for commercial use. Much of this infrastructure became more widely developed during the 19th and 20th centuries. Some principal waterways used by shipping lines in the 20th century were the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...

Rhine
,
Amazon River The Amazon River (, ; es, Río Amazonas, pt, Rio Amazonas) in South America is the List of rivers by discharge, largest river by Discharge (hydrology), discharge volume of water in the world, and the disputed List of river systems by length, ...

Amazon River
,
Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuve Congo, pt, Rio Congo), formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world List of river ...

Congo River
,
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin language, Nobiin: Áman Dawū is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is the longest river in Africa and has historically been considered ...

Nile River
,
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson B ...

Mississippi River
, and
Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook language, Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin language, Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river headwater ...

Columbia River
. Examples of waterway infrastructure include the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( arz, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The long canal is a popular ...

Suez Canal
and the
Panama Canal The Panama Canal ( es, Canal de Panamá, link=no) is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximatel ...

Panama Canal
. These waterways are still in use for commercial purposes today. Some waterways can only operate under seasonal conditions. For example, the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes ...

Great Lakes
operate shipping for approximately eight months each year, but cannot continue operations during winter months when the lakes typically freeze. Most inland shipping lines are based on speed and efficiency to deliver cargo.


Modern shipping

Contemporary maritime transportation is bound by geographical constraints, political regulation, and commercial interests. Modern advances and innovations in shipping technology have grown the shipping industry since the twentieth century. Many of these advances include the size of vessels, the size of fleets, specialty purposes for ships within the fleet,
naval architecture Naval architecture, or naval engineering, is an engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The dis ...
and design, and automated ship systems. In terms of commercial interests, the maritime industry has a high level of contestability for shipping lines. This means that the ease of entering and leaving the industry is high. The cause of this is due to the purchase of secondhand ships, the return on which can often be covered fairly quickly for commercial ships. Newer, expensive ships require a larger return on the investment but pay off quickly. This is because these ships typically cater to a larger, more expensive crowd. For instance, new
cruise ship Cruise ships are large passenger ships used mainly for vacationing. Unlike ocean liners, which are used for transport, cruise ships typically embark on round-trip voyages to various ports-of-call, where passengers may go on Tourism, tours know ...

cruise ship
s can often be paid off within ten years due to the entrepreneurial nature of its intended purpose. Innovations in the shipping industry are also being utilized by shipping lines to find solutions to global problems. For example, modern technology and research is being used to analyze the phenomenon of shipping containers disappearing while at sea. These problems are being researched in part by government agencies, such as the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (abbreviated as NOAA ) is an United States scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditio ...
that operates in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.Frey, O. T., DeVogelaere, A. P. (2014, March). “The Containerized Shipping Industry and the Phenomenon of Containers Lost at Sea”. Retrieved from https://nmssanctuaries.‌blob.core.‌windows‌.net/sanctuaries-prod/media/archive/science/conservation/pdfs/lostcontainers.pdf While part of this issue is due to human error as a result of lack of enforcement, advances in technology and ship design hope to improve the rates at which containers may be lost at sea. Other challenges being pursued in the maritime industry include adaptation to a more
globalized Globalization, or globalisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences), is the process of foreign relation ...

globalized
economy. While the maritime industry has always remained global by nature, shipping lines are now experiencing phenomenon that is unprecedented in scale or unseen at all before the 21st century. Many of these issues surround the nature of increased cooperation in the maritime industry. For instance, cooperation among many shipping lines in the industry is causing an anticompetitive market. This is one of the reasons for the high level of contestability in the shipping industry. With more cooperation among shipping lines, there are larger rates of ships and companies entering and leaving the industry. As of 2019, business and economic analysists are attempting to find solutions to reduce the anticompetitive practices and promote competitive growth in the maritime industry.


History


British shipping

Large-scale shipping lines became widespread in the nineteenth century, after the development of the
steamship A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam-powered vessel, typically ocean-faring and seaworthy, that is propelled by one or more steam engines that typically move (turn) propellers or Paddle steamer, paddlewheels. The firs ...

steamship
in 1783. At first,
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of is ...

Great Britain
was the centre of development; in 1819, the first steamship crossing of the
Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the " Old World" of Africa ...

Atlantic Ocean
took place and by 1833, shipping lines had begun to operate steamships between Britain and
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...

British Empire
possessions such as
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
and
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...

Canada
.British History - Victorian Technology
BBC History
Three major British shipping lines were founded in the 1830s: the British and American Steam Navigation Company, the Great Western Steamship Company and the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company.


American shipping

The United States federal government passed the Shipping Act of 1916 as a protection agency for American shipping.“History of the Federal Maritime Commission”. (2019, March 11). Retrieved from https://www.‌fmc.gov/about/history.aspx The act, passed during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...

World War I
but before the nation officially entered the war, helped American shipping lines during a period when commercial shipping grew under the demands of the war. Under this act, the
United States Shipping Board The United States Shipping Board (USSB) was established as an emergency agency by the Merchant Marine Act of 1916 (Alexander Act), 1916 Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), on September 7, 1916. The United States Shipping Board's task was to increase the ...
was also formed. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the federal government passed the Merchant Marine Act to protect American shipping interests in response to changing foreign shipping policy. The responsibilities established under the Shipping Act were eventually transferred to the
Department of Commerce The United States Department of Commerce is an United States federal executive departments, executive department of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government concerned with creating the conditions for economic growth ...
in 1933 by The Federal Maritime Commission was created in 1961 by to regulate shipping activity in the United States, finally giving blanket authority to one shipping commission. At the same time, the
United States Maritime Administration The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an Government agency#Government agencies in the United States, agency of the United States Department of Transportation. MARAD administers financial programs to develop, promote, and operate ...
, or MARAD, was founded to regulate the merchant marine industry and fleet. However, a sharp rise in international ocean trade gave the two agencies expanded power in the growing maritime industry.


See also

* List of ship companies *
Maritime transport Maritime transport (or ocean transport) and hydraulic effluvial transport, or more generally waterborne transport, is the transport of people (passengers) or goods (cargo) via waterways. Freight transport by sea has been widely used throug ...
* Shipping portal * World Shipping Council


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Shipping Line Maritime transport