The article gives a business perspective on the development of transit routes during the long nineteenth century transatlantic migration from Europe to the us. It first stresses that due to the economic interests generated by transatlantic migrant transport the political economy behind early migration policies centred much more on how people moved rather than who was doing the moving. These had a lasting impact on transit routes. With nationalism on the rise and economic liberalism declining, measures to direct transmigrants to national ports and companies radicalised. Against this background and to neutralise competitive pressures shipping companies united in cartels to protect established routes. Their perspective gives new insights on how transit routes developed; on transit costs; the service it included and the quality thereof. It explains how shipping lines extended their services in port-cities and inland transport hubs to guarantee a smooth transit as an integrated part of their trade.
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