Packet trade

Packet trade

Packet trade generally refers to any regularly scheduled cargo, passenger and mail trade conducted by ship. [ [ Cape Verde Packet Trade] ] The ships are called "packet boats" as their original function was to carry mail. [ [ packet boat] ]

United States

In the United States, "packet trade" is used most oftenFact|date=October 2007 to refer to the Atlantic (or "Western") Ocean packets which traded with Europe and Africa (most notablyFact|date=October 2007 Cape Verde).

During the 18th century ships carrying cargo, passengers and mail between Europe and America would sail only when they were fullFact|date=October 2007, but starting in the early 19th century, as trade with America became more common, schedule regularity became a priority.

The Black Ball line

In 1818, ships of the "Black Ball" line began regularly scheduled trips between Britain and America. These "packet ships" (named for their delivery of mail "packets") were infamous for keeping to their disciplined schedules. This often involved harsh treatment of seamen and earned the ships the nickname, "bloodboat".Fact|date=October 2007

The original Black Ball Line was founded by a group of New York Quakers, but later a rival service founded by James Baines of Liverpool also styled itself the Black Ball Line, despite the protests of the original company of that name.

Cape Verde

Because of the influence of whaling and several local droughts, there was substantial migration from Cape Verde to America, most notably to New Bedford, Massachusetts.Fact|date=October 2007 This migration built strong ties between the two locations, and a strong packet trade between New England and Cape Verde developed during the early-to-mid 1800s.


The first seagoing ship built in Van Diemens Land (in 1812) was named the "Henrietta Packet" by virtue of the fact that she offered a regular passenger service between Hobart, Tasmania and Sydney, New South Wales. From the 1830s the term "steam packet" was commonly applied to early steam ship services that, at least in theory, offered a regular and reliable service, and is perpetuated today by many waterfront establishments around Australia bearing such names as the "Steam Packet Inn" or "Steam Packet Hotel".

Both fast sailing ships and early steam ships holding mail contracts between Great Britain and Australia were also often referred to as packets. These included several ships of James Baines' Black Ball Line and the Orient Line.

ee also

*Isle of Man Steam Packet
*Packet (sea transport)

For further reading

*Dave Hollett, "Fast Passage to Australia: the History of the Black Ball, Eagle and White Star Lines", London, Fairplay, 1986.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Packet (sea transport) — Packet (sea transport): A Packet service is a regular, scheduled service, carrying freight and passengers. The ships used for this service are called Packet ships or Packet Boats, the seamen Packetmen and the business is called Packet trade. A… …   Wikipedia

  • Post Office Packet Service — Packet can mean a small parcel but, originally meant a parcel of important correspondence or valuable items, for urgent delivery [Oxford English Dictionary Packet : A small pack, package, or parcel. In later use freq.: the container or wrapping… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Ball Line (trans-Atlantic packet) — This article refers to the trans Atlantic packet shipping company, for other uses see Black Ball Line The Black Ball Line was a fleet of packet ships running between Liverpool, England and New York, the first scheduled trans Atlantic service,… …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Mail Steam Packet Company — Royal Mail Lines Création 1839 Dates clés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Woolwich Steam Packet Company — The Woolwich Steam Packet Company was established in 1834 to provide services from central London to Woolwich, which were later extended to the Kent and southern Essex coasts along the Thames Estuary. A London to Ipswich packet service was… …   Wikipedia

  • Wave packet — In physics, a wave packet is an envelope or packet containing an arbitrary number of wave forms. In quantum mechanics the wave packet is ascribed a special significance: it is interpreted to be a probability wave describing the probability that a …   Wikipedia

  • High-Speed Downlink Packet Access — (HSDPA) is an enhanced 3G (third generation) mobile telephony communications protocol in the High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family, also dubbed 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G, which allows networks based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System… …   Wikipedia

  • General Packet Radio Service — (GPRS) is a packet oriented mobile data service on the 2G and 3G cellular communication system s global system for mobile communications (GSM). GPRS was originally standardized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in response …   Wikipedia

  • Sydney Packet (London) — The Sydney Packet was a sailing ship, owned by Alexander Birnie Co. of London, England. She was one of the few ships involved in early trade with New South Wales …   Wikipedia

  • Collins Line — Also called New York Liverpool United States Mail Steamship Company Type Ocean going transport Routes Transatlantic; Gulf of Mexico …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.