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Aden seized by British 1839 to protect route to India. With coming of steam important as coaling station and water supplies. Ships delivering coal were generally tramps and direct return cargoes minimal. Owners would rely on brokers to arrange suitable voyage charters so it usually meant a positioning voyage in ballast to wherever a cargo could be fixed. There might be several several further intermediate voyages before a final homeward cargo to N Europe.
 
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