SHIPPING: No More Intercoastal

The No. 1 trade route for U.S. merchantmen was without ships to load last week. There will be no more intercoastal trade* until there are once more enough ships.

From foggy Puget Sound to the foggy Gulf of Maine, 171 U.S. vessels—more than on any other ocean route—used to shuttle through the Panama Canal from coast to coast. They flew 16 house flags, in good years like 1937 carried almost seven million tons of cargo. But their rate wars were frequent, their earnings usually poor.

When war began, intercoastal operators sold some ships abroad (at double the pre-war tonnage value), chartered others...

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