The United States Shipping Board
was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act (39 Stat. 729), 7 September 1916
. It was formally organized 30 January 1917
. The Shipping Board's functions were to:
- commercial maritime carriers and trade practices,
- marine insurance,
- transfers of ship registry, and
- the rates charged in interstate waterborne commerce.
- Investigate adequacy of port and water transportation facilities,
- Determine the necessity for steamship lines and the characteristics of vessels on those lines,
- Develop a naval auxiliary and merchant marine, and
- Subsidize private ship construction.
The Board was abolished, effective 2 March 1934.
Its successor agencies have been the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce (1933-36); the U.S. Maritime Commission (1936-50); the U.S. Federal Maritime Board of the Department of Commerce (regulatory functions only, 1950-61); the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (regulatory functions only, 1961- ); the United States Maritime Administration of the Department of Commerce (all other functions, 1950-81); and the U.S. Maritime Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (all other functions, 1981- ).