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Title: The decline of British shipping : some new perspectives
Author: Davies, Keith
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis addresses the research question: 'What additional factors contributed to the decline of the British flagged merchant marine, other than those already described in the literature?' The focus is on the period 1947-1990. The main new finding concerns the effect that global finance had on previously privately-owned shipping companies. From the late 1960s, the impact of short-term trading and the rising influence of immediate shareholder value undermined the autonomy of shipping companies that were seeking to raise finance to invest in new technologies (principally containerisation), which were sweeping world trade at the time. The result was the demise of many prominent ship-owning concerns that proved unable to cope in the new financial climate. This argument is illustrated by case studies of two shipping companies: one which successfully thrived in the new climate, the other which did not. Corporate strategies, most notably involving the decision whether or not to be publicly quoted on the stock exchange, are central to the analysis of these different outcomes. The case studies are preceded by a re-evaluation of evidence already published in academic literature that has been used to explain the decline of the British merchant marine. For example, the cartel system which is widely reported to have benefited the cargo-liner section of the industry is shown to have had as many drawbacks as benefits in the long run. This thesis also re-examines the significance of the industry's relations with the British state, drawing attention to fiscal developments and the varied policies used by different administrations to support the industry and their varied results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HE Transportation and Communications