Cross trades. On trade routes between two places or countries the ships belonging to each country may have a large share of the trade but ships belonging to other countries may be allowed to carry cargo as “cross traders”.
A cross trader therefore carries cargo between places or ports in countries whose flag the vessel does not fly. Many traditional shipowners have operated as cross traders, e.g., much of the United Kingdom’s invisible exports or earnings from services comes from ships registered in the U.K. but carrying cargo between other countries.
In the Convention on a Code of Conduct for Liner Conferences 1974, the “40/40/20” Code requires cargo sharing on routes serviced by liner conferences on the basis that equal shares will be carried by national lines on the routes and no more than 20 per cent by other countries’ vessels.