Organization of Transatlantic Slave Trade: A Global Supply Chain Perspective. Chapter 3, in Martin DACKLING, Poul DUEDAHL & Bo POULSEN (Edited by).


  • Godbille Thierry
  • Fulconis François
  • Paché Gilles


  • Transatlantic slave trade
  • Transport
  • Colonies
  • Triangular trade
  • Global supply chain
  • Maritime logistics
  • Supply chain management
  • Organization
  • Africa
  • America
  • Europe

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Transatlantic slave trade strongly linked Europe, Africa and the Americas between the XVI century and the XIX century to supply Europe with products from the Colonies and provide needed manpower for plantations in the New World. In other words, the objective was transporting slaves to American colonies for future sale, once there buying “raw materials” and then exporting those materials to Europe and along the way realizing a comfortable added value. This paper proposes analyzing this example of triangular trade from an original global supply chain perspective. It examines the role of the providers ensuring maritime logistics (shipping, auxiliary transport) and the customers (farmers in the Americas, wealthy families in Europe, and African warlords). The study of historical documents shows how the transatlantic slave trade organizers’ approach explicitly relied on a kind of flow control based on known present day concepts in supply chain management.

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