United States Shipping Board

(Source: “United States Shipping Board” Wikipedia, 5 November 2013. Links below go to Wikipedia)

The United States Shipping Board was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), 7 September 1916. It was formally organized 30 January 1917. It was sometimes referred to as the War Shipping Board.

The Shipping Board’s functions were to:

  • Regulate:
    • commercial maritime carriers and trade practices,
    • marine insurance,
    • transfers of ship registry, and
    • the rates charged in interstate waterborne commerce.
  • Investigate adequacy of port and water transportation facilities,
  • Determine the necessity for steamship lines and the characteristics of vessels on those lines,
  • Develop a naval auxiliary and merchant marine, and
  • Subsidize private ship construction.

The Board was abolished, effective 2 March 1934.

Its successor agencies have been the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce (1933–36); the U.S. Maritime Commission (1936–50); the U.S. Federal Maritime Board of the Department of Commerce (regulatory functions only, 1950–61); the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (regulatory functions only, 1961- ); the United States Maritime Administration of the Department of Commerce (all other functions, 1950–81); and the U.S. Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (all other functions, 1981- ).

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