« PreviousContinue »
DUTCH STEAMSHIP COMPANIES.
[Money equivalent, florin = 40.2 cents.]
The report of the Netherlands-American Steamship Company has been selected as the best and most fully illustrating the modes and extent of Dutch steam navigation, considered from the economic point of view. The company's operations are on the Atlantic between Holland and the United States. The report is for the calendar year 1893, when the fleet of the company consisted of 13 steamships of 44,450 gross tons. The Bureau of Navigation is indebted for the copy of the report to the courtesy of General Agent W. Van der Toorn.
NETHERLANDS-AMERICAN STEAMSHIP COMPANY.
Following is the report for the calendar year 1893, dated March 29, 1894: The year 1892 showed greater results than the year 1891. The results of 1893 are still more favorable than those of 1892. The profits of the year 1892 were 136,294.854 florins, and in the year 1893, 204,106 florins. If there had been no losses to be paid for previous years, we might have been able to pay a dividend of 5 per cent after allowing 401,120 florins for depreciation of the fleet, and a sum of 109,904.48 florins for the boiler and repair fund. The net profit, after deducting the losses of former years, amounts to 113,644.26 florins.
The financial crisis in America has been a great obstacle to the profitable operation of our corporation for the year. The cholera also has not been without its influence upon us. We have not yet entirely been freed from the consequences of the financial troubles, the influence of which was felt even during the first months of this year. But we look cheerfully to the future, hoping things will soon take a turn for the better.
The year's operations show a surplus of 973,062.50 florins. If our proposition for sums to be written off for depreciation, additions to the boiler and repair fund, etc., are accepted by you, there remains the sum of 204,106.49 florins, which should be deducted from the sum of 317,750.76 florins, still due on the account of 1832. The balance for 1894 is therefore reduced to 113,644.26 florins. The result thus comes near that of 1893, the excess of earnings over those of 1892 being 67,811.64 florins. For this favorable result we are partly indebted to the carrying of immigrants by an agreement well known to you. The sale of berths, especially first cabin, was not as good as in other years on account of the Chicago exposition, for many Americans on that account did not visit the contineut, and the loss therefrom could not be made good from other sources. During the first months of our fiscal year, freight was satisfactory, but afterwards the financial crisis in the United States was felt more and more, the offers for goods going out, as also the invoices from America homeward bound decreased, and the last monthis of this year were exceedingly disappointing.
The cholera, also, was not without some serious consequences for us. We had, as you know, in our community, one sporadic case and we had the good fortune not to have any other cases amongst our passengers, crews, and officers, but the many fears and precautions due to this epidemic cost us a great deal of care and money.
It is also proper to mention right here with great satisfaction the results which we have obtained from our establishment at Wilhelminakade and its many different and practical improvements, bathrooms, etc. We have not only made by them a very good impression on the Government of the United States, but we have by cleanliness and precautions against contagious diseases adopted a system which has reassured our patrons, satisfied ourselves, and also been of very great advantage to the sanitary condition of our port.
The total trips were 102, while one steamer was chartered for round trips, one for outgoing and one for incoming voyages. Our Wednesday steamers from here and our Saturday steamers from New York touch regularly at Boulogne. By an agreement with the Neptune Line we have decided to send for the present our steamers not to Baltimore, but exclusively to New York, because this port has a second wharf, and there is less danger now than formerly.
As to the rest of the year, judging by the first three months, we have no apprehensions whatever. Naturally much will depend upon the settlement of the tariff question in the United States, just now before Congress. The state of uncertainty, which is a cause of these dull times, is, of course, very unfavorable for ocean traffic. As to our immediate future we can not but say that it is very encouraging, in view of the fact that the United States are endeavoring to establish closer commercial and industrial connections with the Old World and that the desire for such trade is steadily increasing. Contrary opinions sometimes expressed, especially in the Eastern part of the United States, are not in accord with the prevailing sentiment
more and more manifesting itself in the great Western portion. The demand for workingmen there is marked. permanent, and all-important, and the necessity of getting European goods goes hand in hand with it, and therein is the assurance of continued and flourishing immigration as well as of a considerable freight traffic. The superior wharf facilities at both termini of our line, the standing which we have acquired with other lines, give us a right to a proper interest in both. The devotion and zeal of our officers and men and of our administrative staff, with our improved ports, enable us to look forward with confidence to future operations.
Replying to a request of this Bureau, Messrs. H. & A. Allan say of the Allan Line: "Our line is not a joint-stock company, but is a private firm, the shares in the steamers being held in sixty-fourths, mostly by members of our family. It is not our custom to print any statement of the result of the year's business."
Replying to a request of this Bureau, the assistant general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway states:
"We would be very glad to give you any information we could about our Pacific steamship lines, but they are operated practically as ferries in connection with our railway, and the results of their operation are included in those of the operation of the railway. We have no separate organization in connection with them, nor do we issue any separate annual or other report concerning their operation." The annual report of the Canadian Pacific Railway states:
"The China and Japan steamships of the company have shown a healthy increase in profits each year since the line was established. The experience of the company in this trade indicates the need of a more frequent freight service, and your authority will be asked for the building, at the discretion of the board and at such time as the general conditions of trade may warrant, two freight steamships to supplement the three passenger steamships now in the line."
The three steamships, Empress of India, Empress of China, and Empress of Japan, are valued in the company's general balance at $3,504,327.