This series of studies provides an up-to-date review and discussion of the numerous factors that impinge on ocean transportation. There is already much material available on ship technology – which is summarized here in a chapter on recent developments in the design of ship forms, propulsion systems, and control techniques-but very little material has been published on the subjects to which the bulk of this book is devoted: ocean transportation investment and finance, trade commodity flows, management and labor relations, and operation.
The integrating theme of the book is that ocean transportation decisions should no longer be made on the basis of determining performance on a particular route or in a certain trade. Ocean transportation is a synthesis of many components and is itself included in a complex system that joins together all the modes of transporting and storing. Moreover, decisions can be based only in part on ship design and operation. As a result, the information provided in this book in these areas is important and immediately applicable.
The studies presented here are independent and cover each topic as a separate issue, as far as this is possible. The specific topics covered are a world review of the demand and supply of shipping, ocean transportation technology, developing and using data on trade commodity flows, shipbuilding costs, a review of merchant marine subsidies (with an analysis of planning subsidized liner replacement).