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: 2020/1

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 course focuses particularly on the relevant shipping markets, supply and demand conditions and decision making based on the structure of the cash flows that shipping companies generate.


The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the structure of the shipping business, its sectors and organisations and the maritime economic principles and policies related to the effective management of shipping companies operating within the global competitive environment.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended learning outcomes:

  • Structure of the shipping industry and its subsectors.

  • Demand and Supply forces in the shipping industry

  • Shipping markets; freight, shipbuilding, demolition and sale and purchase markets

  • Cost structure of Shipping companies and importance of cost minimization.

  • Voyage estimation.

  • Risks inherent in the shipping industry

  • Ship Regulation and Maritime Forecasting.


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; specifically be able to carry out a voyage estimation.

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

  • Develop an understanding on key elements in Ship Regulation and Maritime Forecasting. 

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)

  • Types of Freight Contracts

  • The main Markets of the Shipping Industry and the importance of the Shipping Cycle

  • Costs and Revenue in Shipping

  • Cash flow based decisions (Voyage Estimation)

  • Investments and underlying risks in the shipping industry.

  • The Regulatory Framework in Shipping,

  • Maritime Forecasting

  • Ship Registration and Taxation Issues

Global context:

International perspectives are provided through:

  • the readings that students are provided with;

  • the cases discussed in the class;

  • examples used by the professor in class;

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be 10 3-hour sessions consisting of 25 hours of lectures, 2 hours of practice based seminars and 3 hours of speeches from industry practitioners. 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 25
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 3
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 70
    Exam revision/preparation 60
    Preparation for presentations 3
    Revision and preparation 7
    Essay preparation 25
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One (1) Exam - Three (3) Hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One (1) Group Assignment - 3,000 Words

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: 27 August 2020


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