Triangular trade started in the mid-15th century. Trading took place between America, Europe and Africa. It was also referred to as the Trans-Atlantic trade, as the route used to conduct this trade was on the Atlantic Ocean.
Trading began when Portuguese interests were elevated from the mineral deposits found in Africa to a more readily available commodity: slaves. Trading of slaves further increased after the discovery of the New World. The cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations in the Americas had urgent needs for a large workforce. Slave ships that were used for transportation and trading purposes were known as slavers.