Review of Bargaining and Transaction Prices: Future Avenues for Shipping Studies

Satya Sahoo, Liping Jiang, Dong Wook Song*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReview artikelpeer review

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Purpose: In the shipping industry, both sales and purchases of second-hand ships and freight transport services are prevalently tailor-made and traded with intense bilateral negotiations. Price bargaining is the key step of this negotiation process and plays a crucial role in determining mutually agreed prices. Despite its cruciality and applicability, the price bargaining has yet received due conceptual and/or theoretical attention in the shipping literature. This paper attempts to conceptually examine the role of bargaining in shipping transaction prices and subsequently puts forward directions for future research. In doing so, the paper focuses on two types of transactions taking place in shipping markets: asset market trading of second-hand vessels and service market trading shipping freights.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper begins with a systematic literature review of price bargaining in the field of economics and management disciplines from a game-theoretic perspective. This approach does logically lead to the establishment of a conceptual framework for price bargaining in shipping sub-markets as a step toward having taken into consideration a variety of heterogeneities commonly present in trading activities and market dynamics.

Findings: A set of research areas has been consequently identified where price bargaining and mechanisms for the shipping freight and asset markets could be further explored and analyzed in a way to make better pricing decisions under a more tangible framework.

Research limitations/implications: One of the critical challenges when using bargaining mechanisms to make a decision on pricing shipping services and assets is how to operationalize the study for empirical investigation as some of the factors are internal information of the players and are not adequately revealed to externals: that is, an imperfect information sharing case. The current study aims, however, not to conduct an empirical analysis but to initiate a conversation among maritime economists by bringing their attention to this not-yet fully explored and potentially impactful field of research and by asking them to treat bargaining from a perspective for pricing shipping assets and services. It is claimed that, by doing so, one could better understand price differences between individual contracts.

Originality/value: This study would be considered the first in its kind to provide a detailed survey of the bargaining theory and models from a game theoretical perspective as a theoretical lens to understand its importance and relevance in pricing shipping assets and services. It also provides a simplified operational case on utilizing bargaining in practically pricing freight services.
TidsskriftMaritime Business Review
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)351-371
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 2 October 2023.


  • Price bargaining
  • Bargaining power
  • Shipping markets
  • Pricing assets and services