Stephenson Clarke shipping (Bloomberg) — The world’s oldest shipping company sold its last vessel and is going out of business, according to the liquidator.

Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., started in 1730, has been placed into liquidation, according to a statement from accounting firm Tait Walker. The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England- based shipper, which employed nine people, sold off its final vessel in July, according to the statement.

“While previous economic downturns have been weathered, the current market is one of the worst experienced for many years, with no upturn forecast for at least 12-18 months,” the shipping company said in the statement.

Stephenson Clarke owned carriers of bulk commodities such as grains and coal for short-sea voyages, according to its website. It was the world’s oldest shipping company, according to industry newspaper Lloyd’s List, which traces its founding to 1734.

- Isaac Arnsdorf, Copyright 2012 Bloomberg
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