The Relationship between Changes in Shipping Markets and General Trading Company's Shipping Business

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  • 両大戦間期における海運市場の変容と三井物産輸送業務
  • リョウ タイセン カンキ ニ オケル カイウン シジョウ ノ ヘンヨウ ト ミツイ ブッサン ユソウ ギョウム

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between changes in shipping markets and trading companies' shipping businesses from the first decade of the 1900s through the 1920s. In shipping markets during the period through the First World War, in which concentrated chartering markets such as the Baltic market played a very important role, Mitsui & Co. employed centralized management of branch offices, expanding its shipping sections, which constituted internal markets. However, as the role of liners grew with expansion of the scheduled shipping network beginning in the second half of the 1920s, the transportation functions of general trading companies began to operate in an autonomous and decentralized fashion at the branch offices that managed each scheduled service. At this time, large shippers such as Mitsui & Co. maintained their competitive strengths by concluding tariff contracts with under-the-table rebates. As a result of such changes in shipping functions, trading companies' domestic shipping sections were forced to choose whether to shift to common carriers or to contract in size through external sourcing of freight space. While under the leadership of its manager Kawamura the shipping division of Mitsui & Co. chose the former option, Mitsubishi Corp. chose the latter.


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