Elder Dempster Lines
|Founded||Liverpool, England (1932)|
Elder Dempster and Company started trading as the African Steamship Company in 1852. Elder Dempster Shipping Limited was formed in 1899, and in 1932 this company, together with the African Steamship Company, and the British & African Steam Navigation Company, came under the Elder Dempster Lines name.
The company operated from British ports, mainly Liverpool, where it was based, to West African destinations. It operated three liners, the flagship Aureol, together with the Accra and Apapa, to Ghana and Nigeria, as well as many other freight and mail ships.
The company expanded, taking over a number of other shipping companies between 1951 and 1965. When the Nigerian National Shipping Line was formed in 1957, Elder Dempster took a 33% stake, selling in 1961 to the Nigerian government. In 1965 the company came under the ownership of the Ocean Steamship Company (Blue Funnel Line). The end for the Elder Dempster Lines name came in 1989 when it was bought by the French firm Delmas-Vieljeux, although the company continued as a shipping agents until 2000 when it was wound up.
By 1970 all stock in the former Shaw, Savill & Albion Line had been transferred to Elder Dempster.
Involvement in the Belgian Congo
During the late 19th century, Dempster held a shipping contract with King Leopold II to ship goods and supplies to and from the Congo Free State.E.D. Morel, the main activist in the movement to expose the abuses of Leopold in his private colony, first realized the discrepancy in value trade goods being sent to the Congo while working for Dempster. As much as 80% of the goods being shipped to the Congo on Dempster ships were ammunition and other weapons. From this shipping information Morel deduced the extremely aggressive tactics being used by Leopold.
- History The Ships List - Retrieved on 2007-07-11
- History Independent website - Retrieved on 2007-07-11[dead link]
- Sauvant, Karl Peter; Mallampally, Padma; Dunning, John H., ed. (1993). Transnational corporations in services. Routledge. p. 171. ISBN 0-415-08559-4.
- Hochschild, Adam, King Leopold's Ghost, Pan (1999). ISBN 0-330-49233-0
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