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It is a common commercial proverb that "competition is the life of trade" and albeit it is not infrequently the death of the trader, yet it is m the main true. Upon the mischievous effects of its opposite— monopoly— it is not necessary to dilate — they are sufficiently apparent, and m no direction more plainly than m connection with the carrying trade between New'"Zealand and the Mother Country. Our frozen meat exporters know to their cost how for years the lion's share of the proceeds of consignments was swallowed up m freight and charges, and it is a matter therefore for general congratulation that apparently the day of better things is at hand. From time to time news has reached the colony of the steps m progress for the formation of a powerful carrying and agency organisation under the style of The Imperial and Colonial Trading Company," and correspondents' letters state that the arrangements m connection therewith are progressing satisfactorily. The Company we learn proposesito construct five steamers, each with a carrying capacity of 80,000 sheep, almost the whole space of the ship being devoted to this special purpose. The steamers are to make the trip out and Homo m five months, running ten knots on a coal consumption of 33 tons per day. The Company also, it is stated, intend to provide ample cold storage accommodation at various centres of distribution m the Old Country, and propose to reduce charges to a minimum. This is excellent news for New Zealand produoers and shippers, and the approaching advent of so powerful a competitor is already having a wholesome effect. The London correspondent of an exchange writes :—'* Already the operations of the new undertaking are having the effect of stimulating the activity of the existing shipping 1 companies engaged m the meat business m a way and to an extent that must materially benefit the New Zealand producers, and, m fact, the colony generally, I understand that the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company have already five steamers engaged m the trade, with a carrying capacity of from 80,000 to 36,000 carcases each. The New Zealand Shipping Company have an equal number of steamers, with probably a like carrying capacity. Messrs Martin and Co. own the Elderslie and the Fifeshire, with a capacity of 30,000 carcases each, and are building a third boat of a like capacity. There is also a fleet of eleven New Zealand sailing ships, each with a carrying capacity of about 10,000. Messrs Tyser and Co., of the Colonial Shipping Co., have chartered two additional boats for the trade, each carrying 4400 carcases . lam not certain whether they are steamers or sailing vessels, but I believe they are Blow-going steamers. The British India Company have purohased the late Sir William Pearce'a interest m the New Zealand Shipping Company, and thereby secured great influence m the concern j and they ore now arranging for three or four additional boats, each with a carrying capacity of 80,000 caroases. Accommodation is thus provided for no fewo? than 1,720,000 caroases per annum without taking into account the additional facilities that will be afforded by the new Company when it commences operations. It is understood that, by virtue of the proposed arrangement, leaving out of consideration the new oonoorn, it will be possible to establish a ten days' service round New Zealand, that is, every ten days a cargo steamer will oall at different ports of the colony, and be prepared to take frozen mutton to England." The same writer adds " it is stated, though I cannot speak with exact knowledge, that the existing agencies for the distribution of New Zealand meat propose establishing refrigerating chambers or stores m large provincial cities and towns like Manchester, Liverpool aud Glasgow, but the promoters of the Imperial and Colonial Trading Company are inolined to troat this assertion as mero bluff." We should, howevor, think it exceedingly probaUlo that tho existing agoncies will do their best to compote with tho new organisation m the matter of storage as well as m that of steamships, and there can be no doubt whatever that the result of the competition will be to reduce oharges materially , as well as to multiply and extend tho facilities for transport, storage, and sale, Altogether the outlook of the frozen meat trade is manifestly improving, and wo think the day is not far distant when the hitherto exorbitant profits of the middle-man will bo reduced to a fair remuneration for his services, and when as a consequence the producer will receive the full benefit of. the price paid by the consumer, less only tho necessary and just payment of the carriers and agents. When that happens it will moan an enormous difference to our runholders and farmers, and will help greatly to tho advancement of the general prosperity of the Colony.

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Bibliographic details

A NEW TRADING COMPANY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2130, 9 May 1889

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A NEW TRADING COMPANY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2130, 9 May 1889