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Société Navale de l'Ouest (Shipping company, France)


Last modified: 2018-06-27 by ivan sache
Keywords: societe navale de l'ouest | societe navale de l'ouest africain |
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House flag of SNO - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 December 2011

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Presentation of SNO

The Société Navale de l'Ouest (SNO) was founded in 1881 in Le Havre as Armement Georges Leroy; the shipowner renamed in 1887 the company Société Navale de l'Ouest. The SNO experienced great loss during the First World War; it was subsequently one of the few shipping companies from Le Havre still managed by locals, here the leather industrials Bergerault and Cremer, two relatives and former associates of President of the Republic Félix Faure.
In 1921, the Saint-Michel inaugurated scheduled lines between Le Havre and French Western Africa. The next years, the SNO completed its fleet with tankers.
The company survived the 1930s crisis with the support of Clamegran, its agent in Rouen, and of the Belgian company Armement Deppe. Short before the Second World War, the management of the SNO was transferred to SAGA, the company founded by the Rothschild Bank, which also took over the Rouen-based Société Franco-africaine de Navigation. The Rothschild probably attempted to compete with the Chargeurs Réunis.
With its fleet nearly suppressed during the war, the SNO remained afterwards under the control of the Pasteau-Carré-De Konink group and of SAGA.

In the 1970s, the SNO served two lines (Abidjan-Douala, Gabon) with nine ships; one third of the transported tonnage (in 1970, 417,500 t between Africa and France, 27,700 t between African ports) was made of tropical hardwood. Additionally, the SNO owned shares in two local companies, the SINA (Côte d'Ivoire) and the SOCANA (Cameroon). In 1971, 51% of the shares of the SNO were transferred to the Norwegian company Leif Hoegh, which commissioned Denis Frères, a partner of the SNO since 1955, to manage the fleet of the SNO via the Navalden joint-venture.
Eventually purchased by the Bolloré group in 1991, the SNO sold its last two ships in 2005. The company is still registered, however.

- Le Havre colonial de 1880 à 1960, by Claude Malon
- Afrique et capitaux (Vol. 1), by Jean Suret-Canale

Ivan Sache, 13 December 2011

Flag of the SNO

The house flag of the SNO, as shown in Lloyd's book of house flags and funnels of the principal steamship lines of the world and the house flags of various lines of sailing vessels, published at Lloyd's Royal Exchange. London. E.C. (1912) [LLo12], also available online thanks to the Mystic Seaport Foundation, and on the company's shares, is white with a blue ring.

Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 13 December 2011

Flag of the Société Navale de l'Ouest Africain

[SNO house flag]

House flag of SNO - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 December 2011

The SNO founded a subsidiary company named Société Navale de l'Ouest Africain, which was closed by SAGA in 1964.
The house flag of the company is the reverse of the mother company's flag, that is blue with a white ring.

Ivan Sache, 13 December 2011