The Emergence of New Organisational Forms in Liner Shipping: Swedish Liner Shipping and International Consortia, 1960-75

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Liner shipping is crucial to the world economy, transporting high value goods across the seven seas. During the period 1960-75 liner shipping was radically transformed as new organisational forms emerged. International liner shipping consortia were established by several liner shipping companies, and the sector went through a process of consolidation. While retaining legal separate status, liner shipping companies initiated cooperation on an operational level in the international consortia. Traditionally, the emergence of new organisational forms in liner shipping is explained by technological change. Containerisation, a new transport system based on economies of scale, was introduced in the 1960s and this is usually referred to as the single cause of consolidation in liner shipping. Based on a Swedish case, this paper, however, demonstrates that both technological change (containerisation) and political change (protectionist cargo legislation) triggered the formation of international consortia. Economies of scale in container shipping and the emergence of nationalism were equally important forces behind the consolidation in liner shipping between 1960 and 1975.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transport History
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-88
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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