Merchants – International Traders

It is important for all practitioners in shipping business to remind themselves on a regular basis that the demand for shipping is a “derived demand”. If merchants – international traders – buyers and sellers – reduce their level of business, the demand for shipping reduces. We have seen this effect only too clearly in recent years with trade recessions affecting significant areas of world trade. The effect of
these recessions on shipping business have frequently been compounded by the fact that they occurred when there was, in any case, an over-supply of merchant shipping. We will be studying some of the mechanisms of international trade so at this stage we are only concerned with those generalities which directly impinge
upon shipping 6 ‘disciplines’:

  • Dry Cargo Chartering
  • Tanker Chartering
  • Sale & Purchase
  • Ship Management
  • Port Agency
  • Liner Trades

Perhaps the first point to make, to those who are agents of shipowners, is that knowing about and having sympathy with the merchants’ problems should in no way be construed as disloyalty to one’s principal. It goes without saying that if your principal is the merchant such as a charterer, knowledge of how his business works is vital.