IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are Spot Freight Rates Stationary?


  • Steen Koekebakker
  • Roar Adland
  • Sigbjørn Sødal


In the recent literature, empirical tests of stationarity of freight rates often conclude that spot freight rates are non-stationary processes. However, many maritime economists would argue that the freight rate cannot exhibit asymptotically explosive behaviour, as implied by non-stationarity, in a perfectly competitive freight market. This paper restates the theoretical arguments behind mean reversion and boundedness of the spot freight rate process and suggests that the failure to reject non-stationarity may be due to the weak power of the tests most frequently used. We employ a non-linear version of the Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF) test, based on an exponentially smooth-transition autoregressive model (ESTAR). This test enhances the power against mean-reverting nonlinear alternative hypotheses compared to the linear alternative for traditional ADF tests. Our empirical results show, in line with maritime economic theory, that freight rates in both dry-bulk and tanker markets are non-linear stationary. © 2006 LSE and the University of Bath

Suggested Citation

  • Steen Koekebakker & Roar Adland & Sigbjørn Sødal, 2006. "Are Spot Freight Rates Stationary?," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 40(3), pages 449-472, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:40:y:2006:i:3:p:449-472

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;1-
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alizadeh, Amir H. & Huang, Chih-Yueh & van Dellen, Stefan, 2015. "A regime switching approach for hedging tanker shipping freight rates," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 44-59.
    2. Xin Wang & Stein W. Wallace, 2016. "Stochastic scheduled service network design in the presence of a spot market for excess capacity," EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics, Springer;EURO - The Association of European Operational Research Societies, vol. 5(4), pages 393-413, December.
    3. Fotis Papailias & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Jiadong Liu, 2017. "The Baltic Dry Index: cyclicalities, forecasting and hedging strategies," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 255-282, February.
    4. Sødal, Sigbjørn & Koekebakker, Steen & Aadland, Roar, 2008. "Market switching in shipping -- A real option model applied to the valuation of combination carriers," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 183-203, August.
    5. Prochazka, Vit & Adland, Roar & Wallace, Stein W., 2018. "The value of foresight in the drybulk freight market," Discussion Papers 2018/1, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    6. Adland, Roar & Jia, Haiying & Lu, Jing, 2008. "Price dynamics in the market for Liquid Petroleum Gas transport," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 818-828, May.
    7. repec:pal:marecl:v:19:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_mel.2016.7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:40:y:2006:i:3:p:449-472. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.