Predicting corporate failure for listed shipping companies

  • Jane Haider
  • Zhirong Ou
  • Stephen PettitEmail author
Original Article


The shipping industry has unique financial characteristics: it is capital intensive, faces highly volatile freight rates and ship prices, and exhibits strong cyclicality and seasonality. It is a sector which has a unique corporate structure, as it is normally highly geared and relies extensively on debt financing. Shipping is also a conservative sector favouring traditional finance and tapping the global capital market much later than other industries. In this sense, the shipping industry deserves its own enquiry into its financial characteristics. This paper considers listed shipping companies worldwide in terms of their overall financial performance. While default against individual financial instruments can represent early phases of corporate failure, predicting overall failure at the firm level is worth investigating. This paper studies corporate failure and financial performance in globally listed shipping firms, examining the different characteristics of financial risks, and investigating how these characteristics vary over time. A new technique, the receiver-operating characteristic curve, is introduced to compare the overall accuracies of various models for predicting binary outcomes. The findings in respect of shipping finance for listed shipping companies can benefit both shipowners and investors.


Shipping finance Financial performance Financial risk Logit model Regression 



The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the journal’s reviewers for their in-depth comments, guidance and useful advice.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff Business SchoolCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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