International Shipping Federation

Scope and Content

The archive consists of two series: minute books, 1909-1914, 1920-1936 and 1958, and financial records in the form of an ISF accounts ledger, 1910-1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

The International Shipping Federation (ISF) was founded in 1909, and was made up of representatives from the shipowners' associations of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Initially, the International organisation was under the control of a General Council, made up of six delegates from the United Kingdom, and two each from the other member countries. The ISF met once a year, its main aim being to consider all questions affecting the interests of the shipping and other connected trades - although the concentration was at first on labour issues and the avoidance of strikes. Whilst making some progress in this area, the ISF was suspended for the duration of the first world war, before reforming again in 1919. By 1950, membership of the ISF had grown to include sixteen countries. After the merger in 1975 of the Shipping Federation and the Chamber of Shipping, the ISF continued to discuss issues of international importance to the shipping industry, as part of the newly formed General Council of British Shipping.

Reference: L. H. Powell 'The Shipping Federation: A History of the First Sixty Years, 1890-1950' (London 1950).

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

The archive was deposited by the Chamber of Shipping in December 1995, as part of the larger British Shipping Federation collection.