Maritime markets concern oceanic and sea vessels, their manufacturing and associated services such as maritime shipping, transportation, and recreation (tourism). The maritime market is centered around ship (vessel) transport overseas and along coastlines. Maritime markets are however primarily related to commercial or mercantile activities. Synonymous terminology for maritime industry activity includes shipbuilding, shipping line operations and management, shipyard services, maritime cargo services, marine repairs and freight forwarding services. Maritime market activities support a number of enterprises and businesses including logistics companies, shipyard companies, loading and unloading ships (longshoremen or stevedores), import-export companies, shipbuilding companies, vessel equipment and components OEMs, metallurgy companies, steel mills, commodity terminal companies, energy terminal and transportation companies (pipeline hubs), and various service industries and companies.
Maritime shipping and traffic connects essentially all non-landlocked markets, or the vast majority of the world while there are only 47 landlocked countries in the world. Maritime fleets, including freighters, bulk carriers, container ships, tankers and other large vessels, are constructed and decommissioned according to major macroeconomic trends affecting global and transnational trade. Global and regional economic contractions can lead to downturns in maritime shipping businesses. A significant portion of the global maritime fleet is devoted to energy transportation or the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil, chemicals and liquid commodities via tankers. Over 4,000 bulk tankers are currently in service worldwide. Other maritime fleets include barges, reefer ships (refrigerated), coasters (regional trade), ferries (regional transport), cruise ships, and telecommunications and oil & gas industry ships.