Bulk shipping has traditionally been connected to the economic structure of different world regions with well-defined exporter countries and specific consumption areas. However, recent economic trends as well as the modification of consumption patterns have modified historical trade routes and the related shipping services. In this scenario, the introduction of bigger ships (e.g. VLOCs in the iron ore trade) and emerging issues related to new energy consumption patterns (e.g. refinery location, steel production, renewable energy) have deeply affected the traditional shipping network. Against this backdrop, the chapter discusses the recent evolution of main bulk shipping markets in terms of supply and demand, identifying current and future trends and the related spatial distribution of main bulk commodities. By specifically focusing on main bulk cargoes (i.e. oil, iron ore, and coal), the chapter highlights main trade lanes, shipping characteristics, and potential market changers.
Theodora Koukaki and Alessio Tei
Insofar as ships normally trigger consistent environmental costs within different port regions, shipping represents an environmental impacting business. The implementation of Emission Control Areas (ECAs), the adoption of new ship standards (e.g. LNG) and the introduction of international regulations (e.g. the Ballast Water Management Convention) are just a few examples of recent interventions implemented to deal with environmental needs. General environmental policies have proven to have both a direct and indirect effect on shipping network development. Against this backdrop, the chapter investigates recent technological, regulatory and strategic trends emerged within the shipping network with a view to accommodating regional and international environmental policies. Further to the analysis of those services that need to be provided within ports and on-board, the chapter also tackles some recent developments (i.e. slow steaming and Arctic shipping) that are likely to shape the shipping market organisation.