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Growth, Diversification and Globalization:
Main Trends in International Shipping since 1850
Introduction: Shipping and International Trade
* Maritime historians, on the other hand, have concentrated on topics which have been more limited in chronological or geographical scope or with special aspects of shipping history.
* Ocean shipping became one of the major exogenous variables to explain the rapid economic growth.
* There was not a single balance (or imbalance) between demand and supply but several.
* The decline of transport costs cannot be satisfactorily understood unless ports are included in the analysis.
* The title of this essay suggests that the main long-term trends in international shipping can be summarized in three catchwords: the growth of tonnage and transport; Diversification of the freight market; Globalization, or the lowering of national boundaries.
* This essay will conclude with an attempt to estimate the long-term development of ocean transport costs and their possible connections to growth, diversification, globalization and technological change.
Growth of World Merchant Tonnage and Maritime Transport
* The only primary data on the growth of shipping which covers the entire period 1850-2000 are tonnage statistics.
* Figure 1: Growth of World Merchant Tonnage, 1850-2000.
* In any case, the growth pattern of world maritime transport agrees quite well with the development of merchant tonnage, with practically identical periods of faster and slower growth.
* The modern ton-mile series do not supply a precise basis for describing improvements in efficiency.
* It must be noted that the available estimates of maritime transport only concern commodity trades; passengers have never been included.
* Figure 2: Growth of Maritime Transport, 1875-2000
Structural Development of Markets and Trends in Diversification
* Not all ships can operate in every freight market. The trends and fluctuations of...
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