This paper focuses on maritime shipping with particular emphasis on the structure, conduct and performance of the markets involved. Section 1 is introductory, highlighting differences between tramp services and liner services and describing the links between types of cargo, loads, ships and services. Section 2 gives an overview of development of the market from 1870 onwards, charting the shift from a single to a multiply differentiated market. Section 3 analyzes the structure of the shipping markets, with the main aim of delineating the differences between tramp and liner markets:
- the former displaying "almost" perfect competition but with a tendency to oligopolistic concentration and behavior in the more specialized sub-markets and
- the latter being decidedly oligopolistic and protected.
Section 4 deals with analysis of the strategic behavior of the liner shipping companies for control over prices and market shares, and of the bulk companies above all when faced with problems of cyclicity. Section 5 concludes with a discussion of the static and dynamic performance of the market.