THE LONG RUN ECONOMICS OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORT OF COAL

This Report estimates the present and future long run cost of transporting coal across the oceans, both in general terms and for specific journeys. It has estimated from the known structure of shipping costs how likely changes in these factors will combine to affect total costs. It is important to understand that such a cost estimate is neither a price for a particular journey nor an accounted cost; it is a measure of the long run economic cost on a resource basis (that is, it would enable ships to be replaced). If such a long run cost is markedly different from current prices and accounted costs, then we would expect the movement of prices to be towards the long run cost estimates, but such a change would not be instantaneous and would be on an average basis: individual contracts will vary with shorter run market forces. At present the ocean transport of coal is mainly in dry bulk carriers. The most common ship size is about 60,000 dwt. The costs per ton transported are plotted against distance for three different ship sizes. A graph shows the savings which can be made by using larger ships. The future costs of ocean transport depend on the size of ship used and a number of cost factors, including the future price of fuel. It is estimated that by the year 2000 the common ship size will be about 150,000 dwt for journeys where this size can be used. The article provides estimates of the range of costs per ton transported (plotted against distance) for the year 2000 for this size of ship. The availability of bulk carriers will not be a constraint on the ocean transport of coal. However, the capacities of some ports and the Panama canal will limit the size of ship which can be used on certain journeys. The estimated present and future costs for twenty-one of the most important routes are summarised.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Energy Agency

    Economic Assessment Service, 14/15 Lower Grosvenor Place
    London SW1W 0EX,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Lee, H M
  • Publication Date: 1978-12

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 51 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00319036
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Report No. D1/78
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 8 1980 12:00AM