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For anyone interested in the growth and development of the world economy, knowledge of the history and mechanisms of shipping provides important insights. The international shipping industry served not only to integrate world markets, it was the international business par excellence and preceded trends that later became visible in many other sectors of economic activity. This book focuses on the history and economics of the global shipping industry and contains contributions from distinguished maritime historians and economists. The essays share an international, comparative and historical view of shipping. They provide an analysis of the overall development of the industry from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, covering a wide range of topics, such as technological progress, freight rates, the institutions of shipping, the role of the state, port development and maritime businesses. Developments in the shipping industry have had a profound influence on the dynamics of national and international economies. This book helps to understand the essential role of "the world's key industry".
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