This chapter analyses the freight rate mechanism in the shipping market. Sea transport is a derived demand where shipping demand occurs as a result of seaborne trade. The demand determinants affecting sea transport include government and political factors, the world economy, seaborne commodity trade, average haul, and transport costs. On the other hand, determinants for shipping supply are fleet size and operational efficiency. The shipping supply function shows the quantity of shipping services by sea transport carriers that would be offered at each level of the freight rate, whereas the shipping demand function shows how shippers adjust their demand requirements to changes in freight rates. In the shipping market, the supply and demand curves intersect at the equilibrium price, where both carriers and shippers have reached a mutually acceptable freight rate. Furthermore, the concept of the “shipping cycle” is introduced in this chapter. A shipping cycle starts with a shortage of ships and increases in freight rates, which in turn stimulates excessive ordering of new ships. The delivery of new ships leads to more supply in shipping capacity. The shipping cycle is a competitive process in which supply and demand interact to determine freight rates.


Transport Cost Demand Curve Shipping Service Freight Transport Freight Rate 
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