The best-known triangular trading system is the transatlantic slave trade that operated from the late 16th to early 19th centuries.
Ships departed from Western Europe with mainly firearms, gunpowder, iron and textiles as merchandise. The merchandise was traded in West Africa with the local rulers and African and Arab slave traders for slaves, gold and ivory.
Ships carrying slaves from West Africa left via the Central Passage to North America or the Caribbean. The conditions of the slaves during the journey were appalling and many slaves died. The slaves were sold in America as plantation workers.
The ships then went from North America and the Caribbean to Western Europe with luxury goods such as sugar, rum, coffee, cotton, silver and tobacco.