7 Must Read Books On Maritime Economics

The global shipping sector is worth trillions of dollars and transports nearly 90% of all goods and cargo. In such a diverse and crucial industry, finance and economics play a vital role.

From shipowners, charterers, and crew members to logistics personnel and data analysts, finance determines the growth of the shipping sector.

Thus, it is of immense importance that each person involved in this industry have at least a basic understanding of the monetary and financial matters that play a major role in this domain. This is where the discipline of maritime economics comes into play.

It covers a wide variety of topics such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial institutions, regional markets, and logistics and supply chain management.

The scope for this field is immense since it defines the market and industry trends and behaviour. Thus, it is important to be aware of the various terms, calculations, and features that are involved in maritime economics.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the top must-read books on this subject. They have been selected for providing the reader with a complete and thorough understanding of how this massive industry functions.

Maritime economics is a burgeoning sector, and more people are gradually turning towards it as a viable career option. There are several professional courses and certifications available for individuals who wish to pursue a career in this field.

For such people, going through some of the books suggested in this list is an excellent starting point, and will provide them with a solid foundation upon which to further their knowledge.

A key point with these books is that they focus on providing holistic development by including chapters on the basics of the shipping industry and the various terms and experiences that one may encounter while working in this sector, instead of merely focusing on the financial and monetary aspect.

Let’s take a look at top maritime economics books:

1. Maritime Economics, Third Edition

By Martin Stopford

Acclaimed author, businessman, and academic Martin Stopford delivers this complete and authoritative guide to the vast industry of maritime economics in his 800 plus page book. It stands out as a precise and clear guide that will provide the reader with a proper understanding of how this field functions.

As compared to the original editions, the 3rd edition has been largely rewritten and broadened to cater to the present generation of economists. It depicts an accurate version of how the industry functions and is packed with details that make this book a must-read for anyone remotely interested in this domain.

It combines historical instances with theoretical knowledge and personal experiences to ensure that a complete overview is provided.

It includes cases gathered over the past 5,000 years of maritime trade, detailed shipping cycles from the year 1741 onwards, relevant information on the various legal and technical terms that one may expect to encounter, sections from charters and various guides, and several chapters on how the shipping industry works.

It is noteworthy for also including an extensive section on the topic of forecasting and prediction, and the various perils that come along with it.

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Maritime Economics 3e
  • Stopford, Martin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 816 Pages - 02/06/2009 (Publication Date) - Routledge (Publisher)

2. Port Economics (Routledge Maritime Masters)

By Wayne K. Talley

This 200 plus page book is ideal for individuals interested in port operations, and the effects it has on other industries. Supply chain and logistics expert and maritime author Wayne K. Talley has created a compelling guide that includes key details on how ports fit into the economy, and the impact of this industry on the global market.

Detailed explanations are provided on port and auxiliary services such as freight servicers, water freight, land freight, and ship regulations that differ for various ports. It also delves into cargo loading, unloading, and storage operations that are integral for the port to function effectively.

The latest edition presents several key improvements such as information on the type of cargo and the specific constraints that apply to each, a basic guide to port logistics chains, hinterland chains, maritime supply chains, and the handling of port congestion.

This book will be useful for researchers and novices alike and includes the economic, management and financial aspects of ports.

Port Economics (Routledge Maritime Masters)
  • Talley, Wayne K. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 262 Pages - 12/15/2017 (Publication Date) - Routledge (Publisher)

3. The Blackwell Companion to Maritime Economics

By Wayne K. Talley

This book is intended to serve primarily as a guide to the finance and economics behind the shipping and port industries. It includes several detailed sections that cover these domains and provide the reader with an overview of the salient features in these industries.

It discusses a wide range of economic surveys that focus on the maritime sector and provide an in-depth analysis of these surveys. It also includes up to date information on the latest standards, industrial facets, logistics and supply chain theories, and management methodologies.

A key feature of this book is the presence of certain original theories that can possibly have vast applications in the field of shipping and port economics.

The book has received inputs from specialists and experts from around the world, making it a trustworthy source for reference. Overall, this book provides a very solid foundation for one to build on to their knowledge of the field of maritime economics.

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The Blackwell Companion to Maritime Economics
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 768 Pages - 02/13/2012 (Publication Date) - Wiley-Blackwell (Publisher)

4. The Handbook of Maritime Economics and Business (The Grammenos Library)

By Costas Grammenos

Published as the first title under the Grammenos library, this 1000 plus page book is a wealth of information in the field of maritime business. Complete with information on auxiliary services and industries such as the port, shipping, and construction sector, the book is an authoritative source on all maritime economics and finance-related queries.

The earlier editions have been regarded as the ultimate guides to this domain, and this edition includes several key additions that make it a must-have for novices and experts alike.

It includes articles and viewpoints of several noted members of the maritime community, who lend a more practical understanding of the topics discussed in the book.

By expanding the sections which have been covered, the book is relevant to the present-day students. There are several case studies that provide an in-depth study of various markets around the world, and the crises that often arise due to market volatility. This book is a must-read for anyone involved in this industry.

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The Handbook of Maritime Economics and Business (The Grammenos Library)
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1096 Pages - 06/01/2010 (Publication Date) - Informa Law from Routledge (Publisher)

5. Economics of Maritime Business (Routledge Maritime Masters)

By Shuo Ma

From author and WMU professor Shuo Ma comes this thorough introduction to maritime economics that is a must-read for any student looking to make a career in this field. It focuses on four main facets and features that are integral to the domain- demand, supply, the financial market, and various maritime strategies.

It begins with the historic origins of the maritime industry, and the subsequent development into the trillion-dollar industry that it is today. It also covers the maritime transport industry and the financial operations that keep it functioning smoothly.

A key point that makes the book stand out is the strong emphasis on providing real-life examples and case studies that supplement the theoretical information provided.

It also focuses more on developing a keen insight into the maritime finance sector, rather than simply providing facts and figures. It includes a question-answer section that deals with relevant queries that may arise during the course of one’s career.

The answers provide a detailed explanation of the origin, consequences, and expected forecast for the various economic phenomenon that has affected this industry.

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Economics of Maritime Business (Routledge Maritime Masters)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ma, Shuo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 450 Pages - 07/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Routledge (Publisher)

6. Maritime Economics: A Macroeconomic Approach

By E. Karakitsos and L. Varnavides

Macroeconomics is a key feature of any market or financial institution, and this book strives to provide a clear foundation on this aspect of the maritime industry.

Nearly 400 pages long, it delves into the mathematical aspects of economics and provides key formulae that have a bearing on this sector. It looks into the various markets that make up the shipping industry and collaborates their interdependence with market trends and behaviour.

It is noteworthy for taking a novel approach to studying macroeconomics, by creating a more factual and theoretical understanding of how the industry functions.

Both the authors are esteemed members of the global maritime economics community and draw on their extensive experience to provide the reader with a complete picture of how this domain functions.

They have lectured at reputed colleges around the world, and have included some of the more salient experiences during their lifetime in this text. It is a must-read for anyone focused on picking up the theoretical aspects of this massive industry.

Maritime Economics: A Macroeconomic Approach
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Karakitsos, E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 390 Pages - 06/24/2014 (Publication Date) - Palgrave Macmillan (Publisher)

7. The Business of Shipping

By Ira Breskin

The Business of Shipping book has long served as a guide to the finer aspects of the maritime economic sector, right from when it was first authored by esteemed economists James J. Buckley and Lane C. Kendall.

Now in its 9th edition under author and academic Ira Breskin, it has broadened the topics that it covers and provides a more comprehensive overview of the entire industry.

It analyses marine transportation and its auxiliary industries from an international perspective, with several chapters that provide a specialized focus on North American maritime trade.

It includes a detailed section on shipping operations, marine transportation, industry standards, and the regulations that govern this domain.

It is worth mentioning that it also includes sections on the IT side of this industry, by providing details on the various commercial and industry-standard ERP and Supply Chain software that are available.

There are also chapters that cater to the broader aspects of shipping instead of merely focusing on the financial and economic aspects. This book will be particularly helpful for a novice looking to break into this highly competitive industry, and it strives to remain relevant to the current times and practices.

The Business of Shipping
  • Hardcover Book
  • Breskin, Ira (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 03/28/2018 (Publication Date) - Cornell Maritime Press (Publisher)

Over to you..

Do you know any other important maritime economics book that should be added to this list?

Let’s know in the comments below..

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About Author

Ajay Menon is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, with an integrated major in Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture. Besides writing, he balances chess and works out tunes on his keyboard during his free time.

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