The history of antipodean shipping owes much to the irregularity of British shipping company services to Australia and New Zealand in the latter half of the 19th century. Whereas Australia itself was well-served by several companies over the decades, New Zealand was not. In more recent times, New Zealand has been better served by several shipping companies, including Shaw Savill, Port Line and P&O, but only because of competition which developed as a result of the establishment of two specific shipping companies, namely the New Zealand Shipping Company and the Federal Steam Navigation Company. Indeed, although the New Zealand Shipping Company was established in New Zealand itself, and the Federal Steam Navigation Company was established in the UK, the NZ Shipping Company was to eventually take over the UK-based Federal SN Company before being itself taken over by P&O. This text seeks to examine in detail the history of the New Zealand Shipping Company as well as touching on the Federal Steam Navigation Company.
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