Where have we gone wrong!

scottie dog
28th April 2005, 00:11
Can anyone explain what happened to British shipping? where did we go wrong! here am I now working for a French company whom also by the way work the North sea, Im on a ship with multi national crew (nothing wrong with that I hasten to add there a good bunch of lads).
The North sea oil fields are mostly run by American companies.
Delmas shipping is still going strong after 30 years that I know of, infact there are two here in Takoradi at the moment.
Companies no longer treat there personnel as an asset but just a number thats keeps crewing levels legal.
One time we were te best in the world, british crews were head hunted and if you had a ticket the world was your oyster,
Just what in the hell happened?????

Jan Hendrik
28th April 2005, 05:14
Unfortunately this is the way it goes and I could add, apart from costs, and the regs set by the government , think about the very strong maritime unions they had/have in the U.K., their demands for shipmanning and their conditions so they were no longer competitive with Philippino crews and the like.
How come you would say that the Danes are so successful, i.e. having the best maintained and one of the largest shipping companies with head offices in Copenhagen.
Their pay packet would be minimum that of the British.
I guess they are a lot smarter with the way they control the maritime industry.

Same demise in the shipbuilding industry.
Britain (esp. Scotland) had one of the best new construction yards in the world.
Where are they?? Guess they won't come back in today's competitive climate.

cboots
30th April 2005, 07:32
When discussing the decline of the once mighty British merchant fleet it is a good idea not too get carried away with the emotive side of things. Whilst membership of the European Union did lead to trade diversification away from the traditional liner routes most owners in these trades had prepared for this well in advance of it happening. Besides, the British fleet had always had a strong presence in cross trades. Costs, militant unions etc had little to do with; British crews were not on the expensive side compared to those of the rest of the traditional flags. In the early seventies I considerably enhanced my earnings by swapping from British flag to a Scandinavian flag owner. And it was not a failure to diversify and modernise on the part of owners; British owners were at the fore front of containerisation, specialised tankers etc. It is worth remembering that in 1979 the UK fleet was the largest it had ever been in tonnage terms and was a very modern fleet it terms of age of vessels. It also ranked fifth in world terms and when it is also recalled that the four above it were Liberia, Panama, Japan and the Soviet Union, that was quite an enviable position. So when did the apple cart capsize? The answer is in the first Thatcher/Howe budget when the move was made to end accelerated depreciation for UK shipowners. This meant that the cost of new vessel acquisitions could not be offset immediately against profits. This put any owner using the UK flag at a massive disadvantage against those using flags of convenience or just about any other traditional flag. If I recall correctly it was phased out over a three year period and the fleet declined accordingly. Why did the government do this? Well that is another lengthy question, but the quick answer is ideology.
Regards,
CBoots

Doug Rogers
30th April 2005, 12:35
Yep I agree, the key was in the loss of accelerated depreciation allowances, from that time on unfortunately the rot really set in. It not only affected the British Shipping Companies but also the ship builders as well.
Doug

Doug H
30th April 2005, 13:00
Welcome back Doug! We've all missed you and anxiously await details and photos from your trip. - the other Doug

Doug Rogers
1st May 2005, 01:40
Hi Doug..
Thanks for the words of welcome, do have some pictures but have got to get them processed on the computer first..that may be a little while as lots of other things to catch up on first. Good trip but had to address a family problem with a sick Aunt and that took time so the trip was a bit restrained!!.
Will catcha again soon.....Other Doug

Jan Hendrik
3rd May 2005, 08:18
(Jester) Hi Doug,

How come you get two flags???
What is the meaning of that bright flag?
One gets a headache when staring at it.

How can I get another flag? Suck up to the administrator or how does that work...?

Cheers

flyer682
3rd May 2005, 10:05
It is rather bright - must be freshly washed....... (Gleam)
It's an Avatar, Jan. You can set one up too - a fitting one for you I think would be a tin of antifouling paint................ (*))

Doug Rogers
3rd May 2005, 13:00
(LOL) Well guys it is freshly minted, I havent done much on the site since the return..been a bit busy but that was one thing that I did manage. Its the P & O houseflag, would have liked to have used a couple of others as well but one appears to be the limit!!.Perhaps I should draw up a schedule for different ones.
I dont know about a tin of anti fouling..perhaps in line with Jan's other talents a wind turbine might be more appropriate.

Doug Rogers
4th May 2005, 01:38
Yes perhaps so but personally I welcome all the people from different companies, thats what gives the site its interest and stimulation...well my thoughts anyway!!.
Doug

Rhiw.com
6th May 2005, 22:27
There is one word which, I think we have all forgoten "Greed" Please let me explain. When I started off in this industry, on Blue Funnel ships some 38 years ago, they had over 50 ships, and apart from a few under the Dutch flag, they were all British crewed, (apart from the Chinese lads down below) so thats about 40 ships, with about sixty British crew members on every one of them. When containerisation came along in the early 70's (and I had no problem with that) these old ships were gradualy replaced. Now this is where the "greed" comes in, these new super duper ships carried ten times the cargo of the old ones, they could do a round trip to the Far East in two months instead of three or four, their turn-around in the U.K. was two days instead of a month, and they only had about forty of a crew on each of them. So I think this is simple arithmetics, before containerisation, there were approx 2400 skilled men employed on these ships, to be replaced by eight ships with only 320 total. And the ship owners still maintained that crew costs was the reason, that they reverted to "Shaking the nearest tree" for a crew, this they said was essetial, for them to stay in business. And yes, I and many other called it "GREED". and still do. Regards Tony. (Scribe)

Stuart Smith
6th May 2005, 22:36
Wow.......and I thought that this site was full of flipant guys like myself.
Well said all of you.

Doug Rogers
7th May 2005, 00:17
And I think Amen to the previous items says it all...unfortunately for British (and other) shipping.
Doug

Doug Rogers
7th May 2005, 04:00
Fair comment indeed but nothing is forever, as the saying goes.."there is a time under the heavens"....." a time to"..etc etc.
But many of us might not be around to see it of course!!.
Doug

eldersuk
30th December 2005, 16:29
Nobody regrets the demise of the MN more than I do. But it must be remembered that no industry can survive if it is not competitive. Rhiw.com says that approx 2400 men were required to run the Blue Funnel conventional cargo ships. The important word here is REQUIRED. These number of men are not now REQUIRED to carry the equivalent cargo. If Blue Funnel were still employing these 2400 men to carry widgets from Japan or wherever, their freight rates would have put them out of business years ago and this is effectively what happened.

After I was made redundant for the reasons outlined above, I did a spell in home trade tankers where the owner was forced to cut our manning level to the legal minimum in order to compete for cargos. But even that was not enough, running a 10,000 ton tanker with a crew of 10 could not compete with someone with a peculiar flag on the stern who was running with less than half that number. So, inevitably, the company went under.

Crew costs are not by any means the biggest item of expenditure for the shipowner but they are one of many areas where attempts have to be made to save money. Don't forget, I'm not trying to make excuses for the owners: I'm one of those who suffered through their actions, but we must be realistic.

Derek

DMA
30th December 2005, 18:42
"They mark our passage as a race of men, earth will not see such ships as those again.
John Masefield 1878-1967

sherloc
31st December 2005, 15:41
Here is a quote from the book " SHAW SAVILL & ALBION " written by Richard P de Kerbrech. I think he got it spot on when he writes about the demise of SSA, to which I think reflects the rest of the once great M.N. He said, " There is no great pleasure in observing a once great company, a household name of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, disapear into obscurity. No one is directly to blame but extraneous market forces, high fuel and manning costs and recent recession have been contributors. So too have been the lack of investment by the goverment into the industry and, perhaps, the monopolistic nature of the conference system. The change in cargo handling from break-bulk cargoes to containerisation, meaning more volume carried in fewer ships, has been an added factor. I feel, too, that some of the responsibility must be borne by those unions directly concerned with the wellfare of British Seafarers, Merchant Navy and Airline Officers Association (MNAOA) and the National Union of Seamen (NUS). In striving over the years to improve conditions of service and wages (a very commendable thing) they have unwittingly helped to price them out of the market. WOW, Jonny Prescot youve got a lot to answer for ! all the best Sherloc.

gdynia
31st December 2005, 15:56
There may be very few British Flagged Vessels on the High Seas at present but the number of British owned though under foreign flags has certainly not declined.Alot of money still pours into the coffers but as anything its swings and roundabouts. Even the Fillipinos feel the heat now as they are replaced by much cheaper Ukranian crews. Shipping companies these days are about accountants not people its that final little box called profit which determines the way of the world.

My last trip was with a compliment of 360 persons and that was made up with 27 different nationalities myself being the only Brit onboard.Though we may never see jobs for the boys anymore we can still retain memories even Governments cannot take that from us.

sherloc
31st December 2005, 16:18
I couldnt agree with you more Gydnia, Im driving a truck now, for my sins, and the old flag of convienence is in the driving industry. We have 20 Polish drivers at our company, Tesco's at Crick near Northampton have over 100 driving for them. Geest have over 50 Lithuanians driving for them, and everywhere you go to load up its either an Iraci, a pole, or a lady from the Ukriane (sporting a tash and side-burns) that load you. I think its the sign of the time's Gydnia. (hope your not a pole) they are very nice people! all the best Sherloc.

R651400
31st December 2005, 17:29
Poor old Maggie Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe, the UK's whipping-people for all our ails! Markets, rising fuel costs, change from break/bulk to containerisation and any other high-falluting excuse we can find.
Well if that's the case? To name but two, how come Nedlloyd and Maersk were able to weather the storm and how did Evergreen and OOCL slip in the back door as we slid down the plughole?
If you want a real eye-opener, just take a look at the OOCL website.
I personally feel British ship management were totally naive to the extent they may even have felt invincible.
If Maggie and Geoffrey, (or the powers that be at the time), are really to blame, then maybe had they taken a leaf out of Greece's book in the sixties, we just might have saved the MN, instead of the vestige we have left today.
Greece realising the threat of Greek companies moving to flags of convenience with multi-national crews, offered similar or even better Greek flag terms for a minimum ten year period. Many companies moved back, accepting their ships had to be entirely Greek manned. I was actually with a Greek flag company that had special dispensation to employ non Greek radio officers.
Greece, a maritime nation, realising the threat to it's main sector of employment did something about it. We did not.

James_C
31st December 2005, 18:20
Maersk is a case in itself, as they swiftly moved to being one of the most cut price, cheapest and meanest companies around, almost to the point of stupidity. They still believe in that philosophy and are still here. Though they have far more Filipinos and Indians in their fleet (officer wise, never mind the ratings) than any other nationality.
P&O Nedloyd (part of Maersk now) have moved the same way, paid off the last of the Brit crews in 2001 (surprised they lasted so long), and are now moving towards British top 2, or 1, with Fillipino officers.
As for the likes of Evergreen, OOCL, as mentioned before, they had much lower overheads than your average British company.
As for Brits pricing themselves out of the market, to an extent yes, but relatively, no.
Although our 'replacements' (whoever they may be) recieve what can be described as a pittance compared to our wage, despite that, when they go home, they live like kings.
On this ship, my watchkeeper (Filipino AB) earns about 8 or 9 grand, but at home, he has a massive house, can afford to send his kids to university with no worries, and has TWO maids! For your average Brit to afford anything like that in the UK, he would have to be earning 80 grand plus (back of a fag packet)!
Britain as a country, has priced itself out of the market for just about everything.

sherloc
31st December 2005, 18:21
Was it the Greek goverment that did something about it or the Greek shipping companies? You forgot to mention the germans! Cos most of the container feeder ships and Geest,s short sea vessel,s are German. The Quote from Mr Kerbrech aint far from the truth Malcolm and if you had have read it fully you would have noticed he said that he thought no one was directly to blame. You, and Mr Kerbrech, who has written a few books on British Shipping, seem to agree on one thing, and that is, management had a big part to play in the demise. That is the monopolistic nature of the conference system which was all to do with Management.

R651400
1st January 2006, 08:31
Sherloc, I am only quoting from memory as it happened in my time. When I joined Niarchos, tourism was in it's infancy and Ioannis Hellenikos either went to sea or herded goats. The pressure to move companies to Greek flag may possibly have come from their equivalent to our NUS.
The story behind Marchessini and non-Greek radio officers also involved union activity but that's for another day.
I keep getting the message about cut-throat modern companies employing economic Filipino crews but no mention of the days when British companies happily employed Chinese, Indian, Goanese, Lascar and let's face it, had Eskimos or Pygmies been cheaper some outfit would have found a way to employ them.
If anyone can explain to me in simplistic terms, without mentioning once incompetent management, how Alfred Holt, uncrowned king of Liverpool, owners of British and Dutch Blue Funnel, Glen & Shire Line, Elder Dempster, Paddy Henderson, Palm Line, Guinea Gulf, Cory Colliers and with fingers in so many Far East shipping pies, ended up a road haulage company?
I'ill be happy to send them a bottle of our best local red wine.

ps Attachment "Nestor" Blue Funnel's new gas tanker that never carried one cubic centimetre of cargo during it's entire time with the company.

Allan James
1st January 2006, 10:08
Malcolm,

In response, I think that once Ocean Fleets allowed the balance in the boardroom to tip in the favour of bankers and businessmen over the more caring shipowners, was the signal to the demise of Ocean as a shipping company. Around this time the name changed from OCEAN FLEETS to OCEAN TRANSPORT AND TRADING-OT&T. Or as we knew it at the time Ocean Trucking and Tramping!

You mention the Nestor, she was ordered in 1972 for a speculative charter to Shell for the Indonesia to USA LNG run. She cost 62.4 million to build, and after her handover on 4th October 1977 and conducting trials, she went into immediate lay-up with her sister the Gastor; at Loch Striven. The reasons: insufficient LNG at Indonisia and the receiving terminal in Calafornia was never completed. She cost more than fifty Super P's would have done. No wonder the company folded into a shadow of its former self!

Thought about claiming the wine....but it sounds like I've just reworded incompetent management! Alfred Holt must have been spinning in his grave!!!

Regards.

Allan

R651400
2nd January 2006, 09:31
Thanks for above Alan.
One other reason for Nestor and Gastor failure was U.S. protectionism.
Perhaps if bona fide maritime nations had practiced something similar fifty years ago, there wouldn't be one flag of convenience today.
Nestor I see was registered in Hamilton Bermuda, a far cry from dear old Liverpool.
Alfy Holt indeed should be "birlin' like a peery" in his grave, at the sad and ignominious end to his once magnificent fleet.

gdynia
2nd January 2006, 11:31
I couldnt agree with you more Gydnia, Im driving a truck now, for my sins, and the old flag of convienence is in the driving industry. We have 20 Polish drivers at our company, Tesco's at Crick near Northampton have over 100 driving for them. Geest have over 50 Lithuanians driving for them, and everywhere you go to load up its either an Iraci, a pole, or a lady from the Ukriane (sporting a tash and side-burns) that load you. I think its the sign of the time's Gydnia. (hope your not a pole) they are very nice people! all the best Sherloc.
No mate married to a one but its thee same in Scotland even in the romote villages.

R651400
2nd January 2006, 13:48
The demise of our country's greatness not only affected the MN but industry on a grand scale, shipbuilding, steel, cars...ad infinitum.
I was touched by this visionary's letter in January's Ships Monthly, I feel it is worth repeating here..
Quote
Demise of Mersey Building.
It appears that the commecial shipbuilding in the UK is poised for oblivion, but this need not be the case.
The market is certainly out there for vessels of all kinds and the amount of new tonnage on order with the world's shipbuilders has reached a new peak. If we as a nation were prepared to make a real effort with solid, regular investment there should be no reason why ships could not be built in the UK instead of the Far East and existing European yards.
It cannot be denied that the UK shipbuilding industry is also up against hard competition from low cost countries in Eastern Europe, but Germany and Japan manage to sustain a viable shipbuilding industry by means of regular investment in the latest technology and skills. Both these countries have higher cost structures than the UK.
Shipbuilding is a long term industry which always has been very captial intensive. It is a weakness in this country that we do not have many big players in this sector, with the exception of BAE systems, the warship builder. Other countries such as China have ben determined to enter the world shibuilding market and make a success of it. If they can do it, so can we.
Unquote

cboots
3rd January 2006, 03:49
It has to be remembered that in the eighties and early nineties, and possibly since, political deals were done with the EEC/EU that certain yards would be closed in return for the UK government being allowed grant subsidies to others to remain open. I am afraid my memory is not good enough to quote which were which but the information will be around somewhere in the "system". I recall an excellent doco on the television entitled, "Go tell them in Gdansk". on the closure of Tyne and Wear Shipbuilders, ending a ship building tradition in the area dating back for six hundred years. Would have been shown in the early nineties and the irony of the title is that our beloved Mrs. Thatcher was off on a jaunt to meet Mr. Welensa, then the Polish premier and an ex-shipyard worker, at the time of the closure. I am sure it was done by the BBC and is excellent viewing if available in any format these days.
CBoots

davidpayne
12th February 2006, 20:33
i spent five months living in a portacabin on the Gastors/Nestor deck in 1993 she was then called LNG Lagos. It was very strange with only three of us on it. I think she's trading now!!

lakercapt
13th February 2006, 16:52
The demise of the deep sea ships under the Canadian flag took place after the British etc.
Talking to one of our owners his comment about why they were flagging out was"we can get an (*)) Indian Captain and chief engineer for less than we pay you."
My comment was if I did not pay taxes, UIC, health tax, etc, etc, I could accept these wages to. I also contributed to the countries ecconomy.
Don't know what the saving were but a year later the ship was docked for two months getting repairs and I was called up and asked how this had not happened when I was there.
I told them to send a cheque for $500.00 and I would give them one reason. Did not take me up on the offer.

John Cassels
14th February 2006, 09:11
Nice one Bill,

Was that the "Saskatchewan Pioneer".

JC

lakercapt
14th February 2006, 15:48
Yes John that was the one.
Was in drydock in Malta with major hull cracking and that was because of the inexperiance of the crew.
As you know they were long for their width and in heavy weather had to be treated with respect.
Still running today but they changed flag agaain.
Bill

Keltic Star
15th February 2006, 09:09
The demise of the deep sea ships under the Canadian flag took place after the British etc.
Talking to one of our owners his comment about why they were flagging out was"we can get an (*)) Indian Captain and chief engineer for less than we pay you."
My comment was if I did not pay taxes, UIC, health tax, etc, etc, I could accept these wages to. I also contributed to the countries ecconomy.
Don't know what the saving were but a year later the ship was docked for two months getting repairs and I was called up and asked how this had not happened when I was there.
I told them to send a cheque for $500.00 and I would give them one reason. Did not take me up on the offer.

There is a bit more to the demise of deep sea ships under Canadian flag. It started well before the UK, in fact shortly after WW II, when the Canadian Merchant Navy fell from the third largest to just about nothing. Factors included the strength of the Seamans International Union, run as usual by our neighbours to the south, low freight rates, high taxation and our lack of a sensible marine transportation policy for the last 45 years.

Even in the fifties and sixties, Canadian owners such as Canadian Pacific and Montreal Shipping were flaged out under the Red Duster, and that was not because of crew costs alone.

We created a Coasting (and Great Lakes) Trade Act which specified that ships on the coastal trade, which ranges from Labrador to Vacouver and includes the panama Canal, had to be served by Canadian built ships or pay an exhorbitant duty followed by rejection by the Steamship Inspectors, not because the ship was unseaworthy, but because they were protecting the Canadian shipbuilding industry.

The shipbuilding industry was a farce, jobs for the boy's in the riding that produced the most votes or political mileage, for the party in power, not by ability or competitive price.

The last big ships built in Canada were the 12 frigates for the Navy in the seveties and early eighties. A blank cheque was handed to a politically correct shipyard owner, and we didn't even have a design at that stage. Three years late and almost a billion dollars over budget, the first one was delivered. Ten years later, it was in for total refit because the steel had corroded beyond acceptable limits. As of last Friday, only four of the twelve are operational at any given time. Commercial shipbuilding is non existent because the yards still think in goverment pricing terms.

Canadian shipbuiling went the same way as that of the UK. We rested on our laurels instead if getting with the program and modernising the yards to compete with increased competition from the Far East. They still build most of the new cruise ships in France and Italy and the wages paid are higher than in Asia. What happened to British and particularly Canadian shipbuiling who contributed so much tonnage during the war? We sat on our a---s.

Getting back to the crew costs, I don't believe that this is the paramount problem, world income taxation, lack of depreciation incentives and indifference by banks in Canada and the UK to the needs of the shipowner are more the restrictions.

In one of my past lives, I have had many a fine lunch hosted by British or Canadian banks, but in the long run the financing offer has come from sporty European merchant banks on the proviso that the ship is registered under a "Flag of Necessity" and built in a country that offers the best subsidies. Sounds like Airbus or Bombardier.

This is not a problem as you are still at liberty to select your crew from British or Canadian sources which ensures proper operational and maintenence standards.

A good friend of mine who is a major Canadian owner (not our past P.M) flags out whenever he has the opportunity but again hires Canadian and British crews unless local trading regulations prohibit.

It was a Canadian who was hired to write the Nationalisation policy for British Shipyards and Maggie Thatcher hired him back to disband the industry. As he once told me, "Magggie employed me because I would return to Canada to retire and not have to be called to account"

From the British seaman's perspective, I feel the lack of employment comes from too many third world countries, with lower crew wage rates having access to employment on EU registered ship's. But, without asking for my advice. Britain joined the Common Market.

Correct me if I am wrong, but are there not still, well paid opportunities for British seamen with respectable European companies and/or offshore oil service.

With the exception of cruise ships, crew wages are not the major factor in operational costs, particularly in comparison to additional maintenence, repair and insurance expenses incurred as a result of inept crews. How many of you would fly on a banana republic flagged airline by choice.

Being an optimist, I believe that the trend will change, but not in our era.

As for Canada, we are SOL.

With regard to shipyards, both the UK and Canada can forget it, we missed the boat.

My two cents worth.

lakercapt
15th February 2006, 14:21
Yes that Canadian that did it for the British shipyards got a knighthood for his trouble. I also knew him as he was the one that secured the contracts for three ships to be built a Govan. A great self serving gentleman.
No names though!!!

davidpayne
19th February 2006, 17:45
There isn't many employment opportunites for British Ratings up the North Sea or any where else im afraid!! The only thing that keeps the cross channel ships British are the French, our dredgers now employ Poles and even Thames tugs and bunker barges employ far eastern crews. Not much hope is there!!!

EXAB
19th February 2006, 19:32
The decline of the canadian deep sea fleet was not the fault of the SIU as it was not in Canada at the time,the union was the communist controlled CSU and even that did not cause the demise.You could blame the government of that time for GIVING all the park and fort boats away to British companies.After that there was only the Canadian S.S company that operated down to the islands and Saguenay S.S. and they only had a couple under the Canadian flag,their wages were lower than the Lakers but the conditions I believe were comparable.As for the shipbuilding the Conservative and Liberal governments all favoured the Quebec and New Brunswick yards over Vancouver and the yards on the lakes,Port Weller for example was just as modern as all the rest but it was not politically expedient.New Brunswick being a poorer province got the bulk of the work and Quebec paid the biggest kickbacks so they got the lions share of the remainder.I worked at Port Weller after I swallowed the anchor so I saw it all firsthand,wages were not a factor as the shipbuilding industry paid lousy wages in Canada no matter where you were.

Doug how come you have the coatof arms of ilford as an Avatar???

Keltic Star
20th February 2006, 08:57
The decline of the canadian deep sea fleet was not the fault of the SIU as it was not in Canada at the time,the union was the communist controlled CSU and even that did not cause the demise.You could blame the government of that time for GIVING all the park and fort boats away to British companies.After that there was only the Canadian S.S company that operated down to the islands and Saguenay S.S. and they only had a couple under the Canadian flag,their wages were lower than the Lakers but the conditions I believe were comparable.As for the shipbuilding the Conservative and Liberal governments all favoured the Quebec and New Brunswick yards over Vancouver and the yards on the lakes,Port Weller for example was just as modern as all the rest but it was not politically expedient.New Brunswick being a poorer province got the bulk of the work and Quebec paid the biggest kickbacks so they got the lions share of the remainder.I worked at Port Weller after I swallowed the anchor so I saw it all firsthand,wages were not a factor as the shipbuilding industry paid lousy wages in Canada no matter where you were.



Hi EXAB,
Appreciate and respect the different opinion but don't think it wise to respond on this forum as in addition to boring the membership we are entering into the all too familar regional differences. Happy to debate by private mail or over a glass of sud's next time I'm in Upper Canada.
Regards
Bob

calvin
20th February 2006, 16:55
the demise of the british shipping was probably due to greed andlarger and bigger ship especially when the containerships came in gone was the style and character of the older ships and smaller ports lost out and trade dwindled as technology came on crews got less and less deck and catering was needed even general purpose outplayed itself and companies got rid of excess ships and crew small longstanding companies were bought out or taking over in amalgamation and through containerisation companies could carry more general cargoes and for higher prices thus the greed .