United States Shipping Board

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A World War I poster for the US Shipping Board, ca. 1917-1918.

The United States Shipping Board was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), September 7, 1916. It was formally organized on January 30, 1917. It was sometimes referred to as the War Shipping Board.[1] It was abolished effective March 2, 1934.

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.

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- ).

U.S. Shipping Commissioners[edit]


  1. ^ The Bridge To France, by Edward N. Hurley, Wartime Chairman of the U. S. Shipping Board
  2. ^ "Archives West: Joseph Nathan Teal papers, 1900-1926". orbiscascade.org. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Archives and Records Administration.