Maritime History Notes: Waterman Steamship Co. at 100
Of the 200 U.S.-flag shipping companies that were formed after World War I, only one remains in operation today.
When the Lusitania sank in 1915, America quickly became aware that the British merchant marine carried the majority of U.S. overseas trade. Congress, in response, set up the U.S. Shipping Board during World War I and authorized its ability to purchase, charter and build U.S. flag ships and even set up shipyards for this purpose.