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Compagnie de Navigation Mixte (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2010-03-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: compagnie de navigation mixte | letters: nm (black) | arnaud | letters: latf (black) | societe petrole-transports | letters: cip (red) |
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[House flag of CNM]

Flag of Compagnie de Navigation Mixte - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 February 2004


See also:


History of Compagnie de Navigation Mixte

In 1855, Société Louis Arnaud, Touache Frères & Cie was renamed Compagnie de Navigation Mixte (CNM). At that time, cargo was transported by sailing ships, more economical, whereas passengers were tranported by paddle steam ships, slow and very expensive. Touache decided to use screw-propelling on his sailing ships, and highlighted his innovation in the name of the company.
On 27 September 1856, SS France burned in the port of Bahia after its first journey, and the company withdrew from transatlantic shipping. An attempt to open a line to Far-East was not more successful.
In 1857, CNM owned 13 vessels and was the second biggest French shipping company. All the operations of the company were redirected to the service of Algeria, in strong competition with the powerful Messageries Impériales. Touache increased the capital of the company and transfered its social seat to Lyon.
To survive, CNM set up alliances with the rival companies, which were subsidized by the French state.

In 1893, the company operated 13 vessels and experienced again massive losses. The company was saved by Theodore Mante, who improved the service to North Africa but unsuccessfully attempted to extend the lines to the Gulf of Guinea.

After the First World War, the lines were reorganized and the company was mostly involved in tramping. In 1928, the liner MS El-Biar was the first of a series of modern liners (El-Golea, El-Kantara, El-Mansour, El-Djezair), which allowed the company to develop and gain a very good reputation. In the late 1930s, CNM operated a young fleet of high quality. The company absorbed the Busck company and created with Société Maritime Nationale> a joint division for the service of Mediterranean lines. The company built a harbour station in Port-Vendres (Roussillon).

The Second World War nearly suppressed CNM, which owned in 1945 only two old ships. Eight years later, the fleet was renewed but the company suffered from the competition with air transport. The War of Independence in Algeria increased the problems of the company. In 1967, the capital of CNM was absorbed by the insurance company La Fortune, which was not interested in shipping. CNM was merged with its old rival, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, to form Compagnie Générale Méditerranéenne.

In 1976, the CNM hoisted again its house flag on two container ships for a service to the Antilles, a traditional domain of Fabre and Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. Due to their competition, CNM redirected its activity to West Africa, facing there the competition of Delmas-Vieljeux. At the end of 1977, the CNM was forced to withdraw from Africa and to downsize its operations in the Antilles.
In 1981, the container ships Pagnol and Raimu were sold, while the house flag of the company was definitively lowered.

Source: Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03].

Ivan Sache, 7 February 2004


House flag of Compagnie de Navigation Mixte

The house flag of Compagnie de Navigation Mixte, as shown by Paul Bois, is horizontally divided red-white-red (1:2:1) with the black letters "NM" in the white stripe.

Ivan Sache, 7 February 2004

Sources vary with the width of the bands, shape of the letters and whether there should be dots after the letters and Brown 1934 making it a swallowtail with blue letters.

Neale Rosanoski, 21 February 2005


Société Louis Arnaud, Touache Frères & Cie

[House flag of Arnaud]

House flag of Société Louis Arnaud, Touache Frères & Cie - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 February 2004

On 20 December 1850, Louis Arnaud founded, together with Auguste and Félix Touache, Société Louis Arnaud, Touache Frères & Cie. The representative in Marseilles of a river shipping company from Lyon, Arnaud was one of the first shipowners to understand that the recent conquest of Algeria would be a huge business opportunity for shipping.
The first ship of the company was SS Du-Tremblay, named after the engineer who invented the combined water-ether steam engine. While this kind of engine saved up to 75% of the coal compared with the usual steam engine, ether steam was extremely flammable, so that the new technology was rapidly abandoned.
In 1853, SS Aveir, with a combined steam engine, inaugurated the Touacheline to Rio de Janeiro.

The house flag of the company is horizontally divided red-white-red (1:2:1) with the black letters "L.A.T.F." in the white stripe.

Source: Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03].

Ivan Sache, 7 February 2004


Société Pétrole-Transports

[House flag of Petrole-Transports]

House flag of Société Pétrole-Transports - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 February 2005

In 1909, CNM created Société Pétrole-Transports, for which it purchased the first big French tanker.

Lloyd's 1912 [llo12] shows the house flag of the company as white with a red border and the red letters "C.I.P." The same letters in combined form are shown as the funnel monogram.

CIP means Compagnie Industrielle des Pétroles.
Théodore Mante, the president of the CNM and also president of Compagnie Industrielle des Pétroles et des raffineries de Frontignan, created several shipping companies for the transport of oil. At the time, an odd law which forbid a shipowner to have more than one dangerous boat in his float.
Accordingly, Mante created Pétrole-Transports for Radioleine (1912-1925), Naphte-Transports for Motricine (1914-1918) and Mazout-Transports for CIP (1922-1953).
After 1918, the law changed, and all tankers was regrouped in Mazout-Transport. In 1954, CIP was buyed by Mobil-Oil and the company was dissolved.

Ivan Sache, Neale Rosanoski & Dominique Cureau, 23 February 2005