Located in a purpose-built building in St Mary Axe, London, the Baltic Exchange is one of the oldest and bestknown centres for freight chartering in the world both by sea and air. Its members, over 700 companies, are concerned principally vith the movement of goods by ship betwecn the various nations and its brokers act for ship-owners on the one hand and those wishing to charter for the dispatch of cargoes on the other, matching the service of the former to the needs of the latter. Specialist members perform a like service for those wishing to charter aircraft for both passengers and freight.
Commodities, particularly grain, arc also traded on the floor of the Exchange. It was the considerable trade in grain with Baltic sea ports in the eighteenth century which gave the Exchange its name. International commodity trading is now supervised by The Grain and Free Trade Association, which has its offices at the Exchange. There is also an active futures market m grain, potatoes and meat, this too being supervised by G.A.F.T.A., and London grain prices printed in national papers emanate from this market.
|Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.|