Did the loss of Titanic lead to White Star's demise?

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Re: Did the loss of Titanic lead to White Star's demise?

Postby Aly Jones » Sun May 13, 2012 4:07 am

I had thought the reason why white-star line folded was because Great Britain could no longer support two shipping lines. So a merge happened from the request from the British government?

I also agree with Pat that Titanic did not help WSL because when It came to the crunch,Cunard line were a stronger shipping company (out of the two) that became the daddy parent of the two merge shipping lines.
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Re: Did the loss of Titanic lead to White Star's demise?

Postby MAB » Sun May 13, 2012 4:24 am

Aly Jones wrote:So a merge happened from the request from the British government?
That's right, with the caveat I expressed earlier: The merger was only of the two lines' North Atlantic services; OSNC and Cunard Steamship Co. both continued to exist as separate corporations.
when It came to the crunch,Cunard line were a stronger shipping company (out of the two)
Because of the added burden of the Royal Mail Group debacle, and not because of Titanic's sinking.
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Re: Did the loss of Titanic lead to White Star's demise?

Postby WDONeil » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:50 pm

Actually, as documented in the extensive work on the North Atlantic shipping industry by Drew Keeling, it was a very highly cyclical business, one where the American business cycle was greatly magnified. (This was because the migrant trade was the economic foundation of the trade as a whole, and migration was extremely sensitive to job prospects at the destination.) The United States had experienced quite a sharp economic downturn in 1908. There was some rebound in 1909-1911, but the emigrant trade remained fairly soft. It was only in 1912 that migration again surged and led to increased business for the emigrant lines -- but not for White Star. These companies all lived from peak to peak and missing this one was a serious problem for White Star and its IMM parent, contributing to IMM's default and reorganization.

What might have happened in the absence of World War I no one can say. By 1919 Titanic seemed to belong to another world, forever vanished, and White Star was able to go on with a more or less clean slate. But at very least the loss of Titanic was a major business problem (not only for White Star but also for H&W).
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