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You are here: PortCities Southampton > Life of a Port > Trade - lifeblood of a port > Passengers And Mail > Competition

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Passengers And Mail


Competition

Competition between shipping lines meant that they needed to deliver passengers and mail in the shortest possible time. Hence they used ports which were well placed geographically, and which helped their ships to turn around quickly at the end of voyages. For instance, Southampton won passenger trades to East Asia and Australia from the River Thames because it was at least a day nearer these destinations. Having a double tide [definition] every day also helped. It meant that on two occasions every day there was deep water available for ships to come and go, rather than just one.

Ocean Terminal, Ocean Dock

Magnifying glassOcean Terminal, Ocean Dock

There also had to be investment in facilities. Terminals were built where passengers could be handled comfortably and quickly. These terminals provided a space where tickets could be issued or checked. Customs and immigration formalities were also carried out here. Luggage was checked and stowed or unstowed.

 

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