The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is generally referred to simply as P&O, was a British shipping and logistics company that goes way back to the early 19th century and stayed mainly a shipping company for the initial 140 years of its continuation. Some time in the 1970s, it started to diversify to become a chief global group of over 250 companies, engaged not only in freight and passenger shipping but also in large construction projects, house building, property and many other service businesses. An additional transition took place later in the 1990s and early 2000s, though, when P&O dissociated from some activities to concentrate on ferries, ports and other logistics operations. P&O was the most globally diverse port operator with involvements at 50 ports in 19 countries around the world. It was the biggest ferry operator in the UK and is a top supplier of business-to-business logistics in Europe. P&O’s container shipping business is managed via P&O Nedlloyd, a joint venture between P&O and Royal Nedlloyd N.V. (one of the 3 biggest container carriers internationally).