Eivind Merok og Espen Ekberg, “Norwegian Shipping in the Port of Liverpool ,1855-1895: Niche Specialization and Anglo-Norwegian Networks”, International Journal of Maritime History, VOL. XXI, No. 2, 2009,


The essay provides a new look at the ninteenth century expansion and internationalization of the Norwegian merchant fleet through a study of its maritime activities in the port of Liverpool in the period 1855-1895. We utilize evidence extracted from the Liverpool Customs Bills of Entry for all Norwegian ships arriving in that port for five sample years (1855, 1865, 1875, 1885 and 1895).  In addition, we draw on data from the Mercantile Liverpool Database, providing us with information on the character of the networks established between Liverpool-based agents and Norwegian shipowners. A final data set combines evidence on the names of arriving Norwegian ships in the Liverpool Bills of Entry with the Norwegian Malmstein Registry, a database containing information on nineteenth-century Norwegian sailing vessels. Analyzing these data we have three goals. First, we document the main cargoes carried by Norwegian ships arriving in Liverpool and the trade routes which these vessels plied. Second, we investigate the relationship between Norwegian shipowners and Liverpool shipping agents. Finally, we discuss whether these relationships resembled the closed, diapsora-type network identified by Harlaftis in the case of Greece.