ICM125-Maritime Economics and Business

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Ioannis Alexopoulous

Email: i.alexopoulos@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Sea transportation is a crucial catalyst for world trade and economic growth. The globalization of the world economy, increased competition and rapid technological changes have resulted in lower transportation costs. Price volatility, uncertainty, capital concentration and global competition within the shipping markets make economic skills essential for the success of shipping organizations. The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the structure of the shipping business entity, sectors and organisations as well as the maritime economic principles and policies related to the effective management of shipping companies operating within the global competitive environment. The course unit covers international seaborne trade patterns, the relevant shipping markets, supply and demand conditions and decision making based on the structure of the cash flows that shipping companies generate.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Develop a basic understanding of the economic structure of the shipping industry and its subsectors. 

  • Understand the sources of demand for shipping services, the types of ships carrying the cargoes and the matching of these two parts.

  • Analyze the relevant shipping markets, such as the freight, the shipbuilding, the demolition and the vessel sale and purchase markets, and understand the inter-relationships between them. 

  • Evaluate the importance of the industry’s cost structure and the necessity for cost minimization.

  • Be able to calculate cash inflows for the shipping company that emanate from different types of freight contracts. 

  • Understand the environment into which shipping business operate, and the types of risks faced by market participants in the sector. 

  • Demonstrate understanding of alternative shipping taxation arrangements

Additional outcomes:

Students taking this module will be equipped with an understanding of the workings of the shipping markets from an economic perspective. Candidates will develop analytical and other generic skills, which facilitate the rigorous economic analysis of the main shipping markets.

Outline content:

- Introduction to the Shipping Business and Sectors

- The Economics of the Shipping Industry (Dry Bulk, Liquid Bulk and Liner)

- The role of ports in shipping and trade and Port Economics 

- Types of Freight Contracts 

- The main Markets of the Shipping Industry

- Costs and Revenue in Shipping

- Cash flow based decisions 

- The economics of bulk and liner shipping markets

- The Regulatory Framework of Shipping

- Ship Registration and Taxation Issues

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be 7 4-hour sessions consisting of 22 hours of lectures and 8 hours of practice based seminars. The techniques used to achieve the stated module objectives will consist of a combination of active teaching, question-answer sessions, class discussions, class assignment and examination.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 22
Seminars 8
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
A group assignment (3000 words max): 40% of the total final assessment mark

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum total final mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
By written examination only, as part of the overall examination arrangements for the MSc programme.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Stopford, M. (2008) Maritime Economics, Routledge, ISBN-13: 978-0415275583, £40
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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