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AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN STEAMSHIP COMPANIES.
[Money equivalent, florin 48.2 cents.]
The report of the Societa di Navigazione a Vapore del Lloyd Austriaco has been selected as best and most fully illustrating the modes and extent of Austro-Hungarian steam navigation, considered from the economic point of view. The company was organized in 1836. Its operations are on the Adriatic, Mediterranean, and Black seas, and via the Suez Canal and Pacific Ocean, and its lines connect the Austrian port of Trieste with Asia, Africa, and South America. At the date of the following report its fleet consisted of 76 steamships of 138,583 gross tons and 99,702 indicated horse power, the most powerful being the Imperatrix of 4,194 gross tons, 4,400 indicated horse power, and the Marquis Bacquehem of 4,409 gross tons, 2,800 horse power. The company has contracts with the Austro-Hungarian Government for carrying mails.
The Bureau of Navigation is indebted for the copy of the report to the courtesy of the general manager at Trieste.
Following is the report for the calendar year 1893, dated May 16, 1894:
The operations of 1893, compared with the preceding year, show a return greater by 1,065,157 florins. This result is due in part to the fact that our various lines traversed 176,429 miles more than during the previous year, and in part to the better results of the voyages involved, while an increase of 233,449 florins in the profits of exchange was due to the rise of the price of gold. With the greater receipts we have naturally had greater expenses, which were due to the increased work and to the greater tonnage of the fleet employed; but we are pleased to state that in consequence of advantageous coal contracts the cost of that large item was but little in excess of last year in spite of the increased consumption. The returns of our operations, compared with those of 1892, show an increase of 496,577 florins, which is due solely to the better arrangement of the service and to the more effective employment of the fleet, although the general conditions of maritime traffic were steadily unfav-orable and as in 1892 very burdensome quarantine regulations were in force in the Levant, our principal field of operations.
The general results of our operations for 1893 show:
SOCIETA DEL LLOYD AUSTRIACO.
260,129 .quintals.. 6,649,112
Competition on the Adriatic lines was keen to the later part of the year, with private companies for the trade between national ports; but in spite of this we obtained more freight and larger traffic receipts from Trieste; the return freights from Dalmatia were very small, but a little more satisfactory than those from Albanian ports. At the suggestion of the Government, we initiated last autumn negotiations with Austrian steamship-owners aiming to effect an agreement to check the decrease in rates. In fact we came to an agreement, beginning November 1, 1893, to continue for a year, but it would be too early at this stage to express an opinion on the probable result of the same. The navigation of this line exceeded that of the preceding year 5,182 miles, which is due to more numerous voyages between Trieste and Venice, and to the addition of the Pola-Zara Line to the Istria Line. The receipts for freights were increased about 19,000 florins, chiefly due to the Venetian Line.
On the Levant and on the Black Sea for the greater part of the year the quarantine regulations were continued in almost all the ports, some of them very severe. The damage by such restrictions is too well known to require review here, but we are pleased to be able to state that the losses were offset by greater receipts, due principally to the better organization of our schedules, and by the consequent growth of the passenger and freight traffic.
Special mention should be made of the extension to Constantinople of the original line between Alexandria and Messina. This undertaking promised to be very profitable at the beginning, but on account of the cholera, then prevailing in Smyrna, an important port on that line, the receipts were behind our expectations; otherwise and under ordinary conditions large profits would have been realized. This combination, or rather extension of our commercial lines nevertheless shows an increase in receipts of 447,000 florins over the year 1892.
The persistent competition in the Levant results, of course, in a corresponding decrease in freight rates, to such an extent, that transportation of freight hardly pays, while our attention is chiefly directed to the passenger service.
In regard to the Indo-China service we would state that the extension of the Shanghai line to Japan realized our hopes, not only by giving us large cargoes, but also by the saving of fuel, through supplying our steamships directly with Japan
On these lines were collected 219,000 florins more than the preceding year. The increase comes chiefly from the transportation of merchandise carried by new ships of larger tonnage, which have proved better adapted to this kind of traffic. An increase of the trade with Brazil must also be reported, notwithstanding the obstacles resulting from the political troubles with which that country was afflicted for a long time; the exportation of flour and the importation of coffee show a gain in the receipts over last year, the former of about 11,000 barrels and the latter of about 30,000 sacks.
A considerable gain is to be found in the free traffic, as is to be seen in the following figures:
Total number of miles:
131, 538 238, 159
.florins.. 496, 746 817,983
In consequence of the addition to our fleet of the new steamers built expressly for the Indo-China service, quite a number of our older steamers beyond what were required for those stated voyages were available for service, and in order to make use of these in the best possible way, we decided economically to equip a number of smaller ships less adapted to the regular mail service, and with them to compete in free traffic with exclusively mercantile steamers. We have cause to congratulate ourselves upon this venture, because, in spite of the low average rates of freight constantly offered on account of the great tonnage available, the results were fairly satisfactory.
Several important changes in our itineraries have been made, viz: The Soria line has been so changed that, in place of the semimonthly Constantinople-Alexandria and Alexandria-Messina lines, were instituted 2 weekly trips between Constantinople and Alexandria, touching alternately one week at the ports of Soria and the the next via Soria and Caramania.
The deviation to Odessa of the Danube line on alternate trips, with a view of establishing a direct communication between that port and those on the Danube, was effected; also the extension of the Trieste-Shanghai line to Kobé (Japan).
The steamer Nile has been sold to advantage, but the fleet was increased by the addition of the following new steamers, which on trial developed the following rates of speed:
13 12.8 12.81 12.65
Except the steamer Milano, mentioned in the last report, the Austrian Lloyd has not, fortunately, met with an accident of any consequence. The operations at our shipyard, besides the usual maintenance of the fleet and others of lesser importance, included several works of a larger sphere, viz:
Equipping and furnishing the steamships Vindobona and Marquis Bacquehem; completing the construction of the steamers Trieste and Metcovich; putting triple-expansion engines on steamer Castore, providing her with new boilers, and repairing her hull generally, introducing also the electric light on oard; general repairs to the steamers Espero and Argo, providing them with new boilers, and introducing the electric light on the former; improving the cabins and steerage of the steamer Thalia and adding 20 new first-class berths; the engines of the steamer Aglaia were transformed to triple-expansion and new boilers will be provided, the work incidental thereto having been commenced already. In addition to the above-mentioned operations there were sundry other repairs made for private parties, altogether 84 private steamers having been dry-docked and repaired.
For the current year we are confronted with higher prices of coal and competition in trade, continually increasing all over the ocean. It is therefore to our interest, now more than ever, to continually improve the service of the company, and our plan, already carried out in part, to have three new steamers of great size and speed built for the Levant, ought to be considered as a new departure in this respect.
The following is a detailed statement of the insurance fund:
On the 31st of December, 1892, this fund amounted to
Less, surplus for maritime insurance
To which must be added for this year.
Voyages in the Levant and Mediterranean.
Trieste and Venice.
Which carries the fund to......
We take pleasure in reporting for the year 1893, after a long unfavorable period to our shareholders, another quite satisfactory dividend.
The net profit amounts to 543,219.67 florins. We propose to pay a dividend of 4 per cent, or 21 florins per share-504,000 florins-and that the remainder of 39,219.67 florins should be carried to next year's account.
Traffic for 1893.
Pola and Zara.
Dalmatia and Albania.
Number of Quintals
Florins. 2,509, 512. 11
2,411, 420. 71 164, 100. 00
Number of packages.
741 5 495 715 31, 528 60
44, 188 50, 299