Baltic Exchange

The Baltic Exchange (incorporated as The Baltic Exchange Limited[1]) is a membership organisation for the maritime industry, and freight market information provider for the trading and settlement of physical and derivative contracts. It was located at 24–28 St Mary Axe, London, until the building was destroyed by a bomb in 1992, and is now located at 38 St Mary Axe. It has further offices in Europe and across Asia.

Baltic Exchange
Baltic Exchange logo
Stained glass window from Baltic Exchange
The Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass, installed at the Baltic Exchange from 1922 to 1992
TypeMaritime membership and data organisation
LocationLondon, England, UK
OwnerSingapore Exchange
Key peopleDuncan Dunn (Chairman, Baltic Exchange Council)
Mark Jackson (CEO)
Janet Sykes (CCO)
Clive Weston (CFO)
IndicesBaltic Dry Index
Baltic Panamax Index
Baltic Capesize Index
Baltic Supramax Index
Baltic Handysize Index
Baltic Dirty Tanker Index
Baltic Clean Tanker Index


Baltic Dry Index
Baltic Dry Index

Its international community of 650 member companies encompasses the majority of world shipping interests and commits to a code of business conduct overseen by the Baltic. Baltic Exchange members are responsible for a large proportion of all dry cargo and tanker fixtures as well as the sale and purchase of merchant vessels.

The Baltic Exchange traces its roots back to 1744 and the Virginia and Baltick Coffee House in Threadneedle Street. (English coffeehouses in the 17th and 18th centuries were important places for merchants and captains to exchange news.) It was incorporated as a private limited company with shares owned by its members on 17 January 1900. In November 2016 the Singapore Exchange (SGX) acquired the Baltic Exchange. It remains headquartered in London.

The exchange provides daily freight market prices and maritime shipping cost indices which are used to guide freight traders as to the current level of various global shipping markets as well as being used to set freight contract rates and settle freight futures (known as Forward Freight Agreements or FFAs). Originally operating a trading floor, the exchange's members' transactions are today mainly conducted by telephone.

The exchange is the source of market-wide information and publishes seven daily indices made up from a suite of wet and dry bench-marked time-charter and voyage routes:

  • Baltic Dry Index (BDI)
  • Baltic Panamax Index (BPI)
  • Baltic Capesize Index (BCI)
  • Baltic Supramax Index (BSI)
  • Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI)
  • Baltic Dirty Tanker Index (BDTI)
  • Baltic Clean Tanker Index (BCTI)

In April 2018 the Baltic Exchange announced a global container index (FBX)[2] in partnership with Freightos. An Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) assessment is planned for launch in 2018.

The exchange also provides forward curves, a dry cargo fixture list, sale and purchase values, LPG assessment, daily market news and the market settlement data for freight derivative contracts.

Current management

As of 2017, the current management includes:

  • Chief Executive: Mark Jackson[3]
  • Chairman, Baltic Exchange Council: Duncan Dunn[4]
  • Chief Financial Officer and company secretary: Clive Weston
  • Chief Commercial Officer: Janet Sykes
  • Chief Operating Officer: Ian Johnson
  • Communications: Bill Lines


BIFFEX, the Baltic International Freight Futures Exchange, was a London-based exchange for trading ocean freight futures contracts with settlement based on the Baltic Freight Index. It started trading dry cargo freight futures contracts in 1985, and was modestly successful for some years. All contracts were cleared by the ICCH (International Commodity Clearing House), later renamed LCH.Clearnet (London Clearing House). A tanker freight futures contract was introduced in 1986, but never became popular and was suspended indefinitely the same year. Volumes in the dry cargo contracts dwindled over the years, and the contracts ceased trading due to lack of liquidity in 2001.


The exchange was located at 24–28 St Mary Axe in the City of London until it was destroyed in a 1992 bomb, and is now located at 38 St Mary Axe, London. It has further offices in Europe and across Asia.


  1. ^ "Companies House entry". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Press Announcements".
  3. ^ CNBC (26 September 2016). "Baltic Exchange names Mark Jackson as new CEO". CNBC. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  4. ^ BalticBriefing (13 December 2017). "Baltic Exchange names Duncan Dunn as new Chairman". CNBC. Retrieved 13 December 2017.


  • Huber, Mark (2001). "Ch. 9:Chartering and Operations". Tanker operations: a handbook for the person-in-charge (PIC). Cambridge, MD: Cornell Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87033-528-6.
  • Turpin, Edward A.; McEwen, William A. (1980). "Ch. 18:United States Navigation Laws and Ship's Business". Merchant Marine Officers' Handbook. Centreville, MD: Cornell Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87033-056-X.

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′54″N 0°04′49″W / 51.5151°N 0.0802°W

1993 Bishopsgate bombing

The Bishopsgate bombing occurred on 24 April 1993, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a powerful truck bomb on Bishopsgate, a major thoroughfare in London's financial district, the City of London. Telephoned warnings were sent about an hour beforehand, but a news photographer was killed in the blast and 44 people were injured, with fatalities minimised due to it occurring on a Saturday. The blast destroyed the nearby St Ethelburga's church and wrecked Liverpool Street station and the NatWest Tower. The financial cost was severe, estimated at the time to be over £1 billion of damage (about £1.84 billion in 2018), making it the costliest terrorist attack at the time (since surpassed by the September 11 attacks).As a result of the bombing, which happened just over a year after the bombing of the nearby Baltic Exchange, a "ring of steel" was implemented to protect the City, and many firms introduced disaster recovery plans in case of further attacks or similar disasters. £350 million was spent on repairing damage. In 1994 detectives believed they knew the identities of the IRA bombers, but lacked sufficient evidence to arrest them.

30 St Mary Axe

30 St Mary Axe (known previously as the Swiss Re Building), informally known as The Gherkin, is a commercial skyscraper in London's primary financial district, the City of London. It was completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004. With 41 floors, it is 180 metres (591 ft) tall and stands on the former sites of the Baltic Exchange and Chamber of Shipping, which were extensively damaged in 1992 in the Baltic Exchange bombing by a device placed by the Provisional IRA in St Mary Axe, a narrow street leading north from Leadenhall Street.After plans to build the 92-storey Millennium Tower were dropped, 30 St Mary Axe was designed by Norman Foster and Arup Group. It was erected by Skanska; construction started in 2001.The building has become a recognisable landmark of London, and it is one of the city's most widely recognised examples of contemporary architecture.

Baltic Dry Index

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), is issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. The BDI is a composite of the Capesize, Panamax and Supramax Timecharter Averages. It is reported around the world as a proxy for dry bulk shipping stocks as well as a general shipping market bellwether.

The BDI is the successor to the Baltic Freight Index (BFI) and came into operation on 1 November 1999. The BDI continues the established time series of the BFI, however, the voyages and vessels covered by the index have changed over time so caution should be exercised in assuming long term constancy of the data.

Baltic Exchange (building)

The Baltic Exchange was a building located at 24–28 St Mary Axe in the City of London and occupied by Baltic Exchange Ltd, a provider of information on maritime transportation markets. A historic landmark, the Baltic Exchange building was architecturally known for its cathedral-like trading hall and its stained glass war memorial. It was destroyed in a bombing in 1992. The site is now occupied by "The Gherkin"; the stained glass can be seen at the National Maritime Museum.

Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass

The Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass comprises several stained glass windows designed by English artist John Dudley Forsyth which were installed over a staircase at the Baltic Exchange in London in 1922, as a memorial to the members of the exchange who were killed while serving during World War I. The memorial glass was damaged in an IRA bombing in 1992; after restoration, it has been displayed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich since 2005.

The memorial forms a hemispherical half-dome about 3 metres (9.8 ft) high, with 240 panels divided into five sectors, with five rectangular windows of painted coloured glass, each of which features a personification of one of the virtues – Truth, Hope, Justice, Fortitude and Faith. The dome is replete with classical and religious symbolism, featuring a winged figure of Victory stepping from a boat into a classical temple, accompanied by Roman soldiers, putti, a dove symbolising peace, the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, and armorial shields and badges for the territories of the British Empire. Two panels, one to either side, list battles in the First World War – Cambrai, Mezières, Arras and Lens, Galipoli, and Messines Ridge to the left; and Bethune, Salonika, Ypres and Loos, Givenchy, Paschendaele to the right. The glass was put together by Lowndes & Drury at The Glass House, Fulham. It was unveiled by General Sir Herbert Alexander Lawrence on 1 June 1922, and dedicated by the Bishop of Willesden William Perrin. It replaced clear glazed windows and dome included on the north side of the exchange when it was rebuilt in 1903. Originally, it was accompanied by marble panels listing the 61 dead, which had been installed earlier and unveiled on 16 July 1920.

The glass survived the Second World War intact, but suffered damage in an IRA bombing on 10 April 1992. Only 45 of the 240 panels of the dome were left intact; the other panels, and all five of the windows, all suffered damage. Plans to rebuild the Baltic Exchange were abandoned when the extent of the damage became clear; the remnants of the old building were demolished in 1998 and replaced by 30 St Mary Axe (nicknamed the Gherkin) where the glazed rooftop dome refers back to the dome of the Baltic Exchange. With funding from Swiss Re, the memorial glass was restored by glass conservators Goddard & Gibbs and has been displayed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich since 2005. The marble panels were installed at the Baltic Exchange's new building at 38 St Mary Axe.

Baltic Exchange bombing

The Baltic Exchange bombing was an attack by the Provisional IRA on the City of London, Britain's financial centre, on 10 April 1992, the day after the General Election which re-elected John Major from the Conservative Party as Prime Minister. The one-ton bomb – concealed in a large white truck and consisting of a fertilizer device wrapped with a detonation cord made from 100 lb of semtex – was the biggest detonated on mainland Britain since World War II. The bombing killed three people, injured 91 others, and caused massive damage, destroying the Baltic Exchange building and severely damaging surroundings.

Bulk cargo

Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. It refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oil, grain, coal, or gravel. This cargo is usually dropped or poured, with a spout or shovel bucket, into a bulk carrier ship's hold, railroad car/railway wagon, or tanker truck/trailer/semi-trailer body. Smaller quantities (still considered "bulk") can be boxed (or drummed) and palletised. Bulk cargo is classified as liquid or dry.

The Baltic Exchange is based in London and provides a range of indices benchmarking the cost of moving bulk commodities, dry and wet, along popular routes around the seas. Some of these indices are also used to settle Freight Futures, known as FFA's. The most famous of the Baltic indices is the Baltic Dry Indices, commonly called the BDI. This is a derived function of the Baltic Capesize index (BCI), Baltic Panamax index (BPI), Baltic Supramax index (BSI) and the Baltic Handysize index (BHSI). The BDI has been used as a bellwether for the global economy as it can be interpreted as an indicator of an increase or decrease in the amount of raw commodities countries are importing/exporting.

Church of St Mary Axe

St Mary Axe was a mediaeval church in the City of London. Its full name was St Mary, St Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins, and it was also sometimes referred to as St Mary Pellipar. Its common name (also St Mary [or Marie] at the Axe) derives from the sign of an axe over the east end of the church. The church's patrons were the Skinners' Company.According to John Stow in A Survey of London (1603), the name derived from "the signe of an Axe, over against the East end thereof". However, a document dated to the early reign of King Henry VIII describes a holy relic held in the church; "An axe, one of the two that the eleven thousand Virgins were beheaded with". This refers to the legend that Saint Ursula, when returning to Britain from a pilgrimage to Rome accompanied by eleven thousand handmaidens, had refused to marry a Hunnish chief and was executed along with her whole entourage on the site of modern Cologne, in about 451 AD.It was situated just north of Leadenhall Street on a site now occupied by Fitzwilliam House. First mentioned as St Mary apud Ax, it belonged for a time to the nearby Priory of St Helens. At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries it was still extant but in decline, and in 1562 it was offered to Spanish Protestant refugees as a place of worship. Three years later, however, it was unused and in a state of disrepair. Shortly afterwards it was pulled down and its parish was united with that of the neighbouring St Andrew Undershaft.The church gave its name to a street of the same name, which links Leadenhall Street with Camomile Street and Houndsditch. No. 30 was the location of the Baltic Exchange until it was destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992; the Exchange is now located at No. 38 just to the north of its former address. On the site of the old Baltic Exchange now stands 30 St Mary Axe, a skyscraper known colloquially as the Gherkin because of its distinctive shape.The street of St Mary Axe was also the location of the sorcerer's shop in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Sorcerer, which documents the former pronunciation "Simmery Axe".

The church that remains in the modern-day St Mary Axe is St Andrew Undershaft.

International Chamber of Shipping

The International Chamber of Shipping is the world's principal shipping organisation, representing around 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage, through membership by national shipowners' associations. It is concerned with all regulatory, operational and legal issues.

A major ICS activity is as a consultative body at the United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, the International Maritime Organization.

ICS is unique in that unlike other international shipping trade associations it represents the global interests of all the different trades in the industry: bulk carrier operators, tanker operators, passenger ship operators and container liner trades, including shipowners and third party ship managers.

ICS has consultative status with a number of other intergovernmental bodies which affect shipping, these include: the World Customs Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the World Meteorological Organization. The ICS also has close relationships with industry organisations representing different maritime interests such as shipping, ports, pilotage, the oil industry, insurance and classification societies responsible for the surveying of ships. The ICS is also responsible for several publications in use in the marine industry, in conjunction with Witherby Seamanship. The UK Chamber of Shipping is a primary member of the ICS.

London Millennium Tower

The London Millennium Tower was one of several ideas for the site of the former Baltic Exchange at 30 St Mary Axe, City of London that had been destroyed beyond repair by a Provisional IRA bomb blast.Designed by Foster & Partners, for then owner Trafalgar House, the plan was for the building to be the tallest in Europe and the sixth tallest in the world at that time, behind the twin Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) in Chicago, and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Its height was planned at 386 metres (1,265 ft), with 92 floors, which means it would have been 21st in the world today, and would be overtaken in Europe by the Federation Tower. A public viewing platform was planned for 1000 ft above ground level.

The scheme featured a highly unorthodox floor layout, essentially two asymmetrical ellipses joined at one end. When the plans were first unveiled in 1996, the Guardian newspaper coined the term "erotic gherkin", a name that was quickly taken up by other media and which stuck even after the plan was superseded, eventually becoming 30 St Mary Axe, the name of a different skyscraper that stands on the site today.

English Heritage had been one of the largest backers of the project until they withdrew their support, due to Heathrow Airport objecting to the disruption that such a tall building would have on their flight paths. The project was eventually cancelled and the site sold to Swiss Re, which created its headquarters, also designed by Foster & Partners.

London attack

London attack may refer to any of the following attacks that have occurred within London, London metropolitan area, City of London, Lundenwic, Londinium, or County of London:

Actuated attacksList of terrorist incidents in London

1973 Old Bailey bombing

1982 Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings

1983 Harrods bombing

1992 Baltic Exchange bombing

1993 Bishopsgate bombing

1996 Docklands bombing

1999 London nail bombings

7 July 2005 London bombings

2017 London Bridge attack

2017 Finsbury Park attack

Westminster attack, attacks in the City of Westminster or Westminster; part of London

2017 Westminster attack

Second World War bombings of London by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe, see The Blitz

First World War bombings of London by Imperial Germany, see German strategic bombing during World War I

1381 Raid on London, see Wat Tyler's Rebellion

1066 Battle of Southwark, see Battle of Hastings

3rd century raids by Saxon pirates, see History of London

AD 60 sacking of Londinium by the Iceni, see IceniAttempted attacksGunpowder Plot (1605) of Guy Fawkes et al.

21 July 2005 London bombings

Riga Stock Exchange

The Riga Stock Exchange, now Nasdaq Riga, is the sole stock exchange operating in Riga, Latvia. It is owned by Nasdaq, which also operates exchanges in the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Armenia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Established in 1993.

Riga Stock Exchange, together with Vilnius Stock Exchange and Tallinn Stock Exchange is part of the joint Baltic market that was established to minimize investing barriers between Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian markets.

OMX Riga (OMXRGI) is an all-share index consisting of all the shares listed on the Riga Stock Exchange.The exchange has a pre-market session from 08:30am to 10:00am, a normal trading session from 10:00am to 04:00pm, and a post-market session from 04:00pm to 04:30pm.

Salcombe Lifeboat Station

Salcombe Lifeboat Station is the base for Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) search and rescue operations at Salcombe, Devon in England. The first lifeboat was stationed in the town in 1869. The Salcombe Lifeboat has twice capsized, in 1916 with the loss of 13 lives, and in 1983 with no loss of life. Since 2008 the station has operated a Tamar-class all weather boat (ALB) and an Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat (ILB).


Shipbroking is a financial service, which forms part of the global shipping industry. Shipbrokers are specialist intermediaries/negotiators (i.e. brokers) between shipowners and charterers who use ships to transport cargo, or between buyers and sellers of vessels.

Some brokerage firms have developed into large companies, incorporating departments specialising in shipping's various sectors, e.g. Dry Cargo Chartering, Tanker Chartering, Container Chartering, Sale & Purchase, Demolition, Futures and Research; other "boutique" shipbroking firms concentrate on specific sectors of the shipping market.

The principal shipping and shipbroking centres worldwide are London, New York City, Singapore and Tokyo, as well as where many shipowners are based such as Oslo and Athens. Other places continue to develop in international shipping services, such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, Delhi and Mumbai, Copenhagen, Geneva, Genoa, Hamburg and Paris in Europe; and in North America, Connecticut, Houston and Montreal are important shipbroking centres.

Until the late 20th century, it was commonplace for shipbrokers to cover more than one discipline, although nowadays the vast majority of shipbrokers specialize in a specific sector. Like many financial services, historically shipbroking grew out of the City coffee houses, becoming established at the Baltic Exchange; among its most famous members being Ernest Simpson, ex-husband of The Duchess of Windsor (died 1972), and Alderman the Lord Mountevans.

The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers sets educational standards throughout the industry worldwide, whose Fellows are accorded the privilege of using the post-nominal letters FICS.

St Mary Axe

St Mary Axe was a medieval parish in the City of London whose name survives as that of the street which formerly occupied it. The Church of St Mary Axe was demolished in 1561 and its parish united with that of St Andrew Undershaft, which is situated on the corner of St Mary Axe and Leadenhall Street. The site of the former church is now occupied by Fitzwilliam House, a fact acknowledged by a blue plaque on the building's façade. Nearby parishes include the medieval Great St Helen's (1210) and St Ethelburga (14th century).

The street name may derive from a combination of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a neighbouring tavern which prominently displayed a sign with an image of an axe, or simply from the church name itself, which may have come from the axes used by the Worshipful Company of Skinners, who were patrons. The sign of an axe is reported to have been present over the east end of the church.The street St Mary Axe is now most notable for the Baltic Exchange at No. 38, and the "Gherkin" at No. 30, a distinctively shaped skyscraper built on the site of the former buildings of the Baltic Exchange and the UK Chamber of Shipping (destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992). The street originates as a turn off Houndsditch at its northern end, with traffic flowing one-way southbound, and it originates at its southern end as a turn off Leadenhall Street, with traffic flowing one-way northbound. Both one-way portions of St Mary Axe converge at Bevis Marks, where traffic is forced westward into Camomile Street.

Number 70 St Mary Axe appears in several novels by the British author Tom Holt as the address of a firm of sorcerers headed by J. W. Wells. This is itself a reference to Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer. In the song "My Name Is John Wellington Wells", the lyric renders his address as "Number Seventy Simmery Axe"; this reflects the fact that some Londoners pronounce the street's name as "S'M'ry Axe" rather than enunciating it fully.

Tramp trade

A boat or ship engaged in the tramp trade is one which does not have a fixed schedule or published ports of call. As opposed to freight liners, tramp ships trade on the spot market with no fixed schedule or itinerary/ports-of-call(s). A steamship engaged in the tramp trade is sometimes called a tramp steamer; the similar terms tramp freighter and tramper are also used. Chartering is done chiefly on London, New York, Singapore shipbroking exchanges. The Baltic Exchange serves as a type of stock market index for the trade.

The term tramper is derived from the British meaning of "tramp" as itinerant beggar or vagrant; in this context it is first documented in the 1880s, along with "ocean tramp" (at the time many sailing vessels engaged in irregular trade as well).

Walton's Restaurant bombing

On 18 November 1975 an Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit nicknamed the Balcombe Street Gang without warning threw a bomb into Walton's Restaurant in Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London, killing two people and injuring almost two dozen others.

Zodiac Maritime

Zodiac Maritime Ltd is an international ship management company. Zodiac is also a large ship owner and charters out these vessels. It is managed by Eyal Ofer, based in Monaco, and the chairman is Eyal Ofer. Zodiac was involved in the MSC Napoli, the container ship that ran into difficulty in the English Channel. In late 2009 and early 2010, two of its ships (St James Park and Asian Glory) were captured by Somali pirates.According to recent analysis conducted by Globes, the companies of the Zodiac group generated together an operating profit of just over $1.5 billion in 2003-12, and the operating profit margin was 39%. In addition to the high operating profit margin, the companies paid tonnage tax rate of 0.49% of their profit.

In July 2014, Eyal Ofer, the principal of Zodiac Group, received an honorary life membership of the Baltic Exchange for his contribution to shipping in the UK and global maritime trade. Later that year, he was named in the top 10 most influential people in the shipping industry according to Lloyds List 2014.

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