In 1895 Howard Houlder set up a partnership in London with G. J. Middleton and Alexander Freeland to form Houlder, Middleton & Co. The Mitre Shipping Co was set up in 1899 to manage the tramp fleet and in 1905 the Reliance Shipping Co was formed. By 1907 eleven ships were owned by the two companies. Eight ships were lost to enemy action during the Great War and the serious slump of 1920 reduced the fleet to only three vessels. Houlder, Middleton was wound up in 1921, but Howard Houlder resumed shipowning in 1924 and the following year set up the company Howard Tenens Ltd. By 1927 the company owned nine tramps which were mostly used on the River Plate trade. Howard Houlder died in 1932 and the fleet was sold.
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