ICM126-International Maritime Trade

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof George Alexandridis
Email: g.alexandridis@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:


Summary module description:

This module is the building block of the programme's maritime component in Term 1. The focus is on the global patterns in international trade, the characteristics of the main commodities carried by sea, and the geography of maritime trade (including main producers, exporting/importing countries and flows, shipping routes, ports and choke-points). The module provides an in depth understanding of basic resources, agricultural and energy commodities such as oil and petroleum products, gas, iron ore, coal and grains (dry and liquid bulk) as well as container trade. Participants also explore transportation mechanisms along with vessel types employed for different commodities and shipping routes. IMT is delivered by the Director of the shipping programme along with senior select practitioners from the dry bulk, tanker and container sectors.


Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  • Develop an understanding of the economic characteristics of the commodities carried by sea 

  • Point out the key commodity producing and consuming countries 

  • Critically discuss the history of the geography of maritime trade and commodity flows 

  • Evaluate the importance of new advances in commodity markets and their impact on maritime trade 

  • Distinguish the different vessel types typically used to carry each commodity and their characteristics

  • Critically discuss current trends and developments in global shipping markets

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage teamwork and communication skills working in groups and interacting/networking with a number of senior industry professionals. Students will build market awareness through exposure to real information and analyse industry trends through utilising a number of databases including the Clarksons Shipping Intelligence Network.

Outline content:

Lecture 1: An Introduction to International Trade and Transport

  • International Trade: Scope, Modern History, Theories, Key Facts

  • Trends: Who Trades and What is Traded?

  • Geography of Maritime Trade: Trends, Regions, Routes and Strategic Locations/Choke Points

Lectures 2-3

  • Dry Bulk Commodity Trade: Prod uction, Consumption, Flows, Prices, Routes

  • Metals: Iron Ore

  • Energy: Coal

  • Agricultural/Soft (Grains,  Agri-bulk)

  • Minerals: Bauxite, Phosphate (and other fertilisers)

Lectures 4-6

  • Liquid Bulk Commodity Trade

  • Energy: Oil and Products, Gas (LNG/LPG)

Lecture 7: Liner Trade

  • Container Trade: What is carried, container handling, growth and main trade-lines/routes, container terminals and vessels, major players

Global context:

Given the international nature of the shipping industry the module is naturally focused on global commodity trade and shipping markets.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be 6 3-hour sessions. The techniques used to achieve the stated module objectives will consist of a combination of active teaching, question-answer sessions, class discussions, master-classes delivered by industry practitioners and examination.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 50
    Essay preparation 30
Total hours by term 100 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

An individual project: 100% of the total final assessment mark, submitted in the last two weeks of the Autumn term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum total mark of 50% for the module

Reassessment arrangements:

Through individual project to be submitted in August of the same year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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