The publication was begun by Edward Lloyd who was the proprieter of Lloyd's Coffee House in the City of London. The coffee house was a popular place for sailors, merchants, insurance underwriters and shipowners, and Lloyd catered to them with reliable shipping news. In 1734 Lloyd began the publication of The List; a reliable but terse source of information for his customers about shipping movements, however it was not until the mid-19th century that Lloyd's List came into its own.
A competitor to Lloyd's List was the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, which was certainly active in the 1830s. Whilst Lloyd's List dealt very much with day-to-day shipping conditions, the Shipping Gazette was a newspaper in the normal understanding. Major happenings within the shipping industry were commented on including events about vessels and crews. The two publications were merged in 1884 resulting in the Shipping Gazette and Lloyd's List.
In 1914 ownership of the publication was transferred to the Corporation of Lloyds and it became the Lloyd's List. In 1973 it was transferred to a division of the company, Lloyds of London Press Ltd., which became LLP Ltd. in 1995. In 1998 LLP merged with IBC Group plc to form Informa plc, which continues to edit and publish Lloyd's List at Mortimer Street in London.
Lloyd's List is currently published daily--a recent issue in 2013 was numbered 60,850. The circulation is now international, both paper and web-based. As well as shipping news, Lloyd's List today covers marine insurance, offshore energy, logistics, global trade and law.
by Mark Matlach