Flows of steamer vessels among world regions in 1890

Based on the circulation of 4,772 merchant vessels on the period January-April 1890 (Source: Lloyd’s Weekly Shipping Index), the map reveals a trading system highly polarized by Europe and the United States – the main commercial centres at the time. The proportion of most modern vessels (steamers) in total traffic (including sailing vessels propelled by wind) concentrate on the most beneficial and frequent routes (Europe-USA) but also highlight the deployment of this recent innovation towards Asia and Africa in a context of reinforced colonial interests following the opening of the Suez canal (1869).

César Ducruet