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The Baltic Exchange or the Baltic International Freight Futures Exchange is the world's only independent source of maritime market information for the trading and settlement of physical and derivative contracts. The Baltic Exchange has 550 members who are responsible for a large proportion of all dry cargo and tanker fixtures as well as the sale and purchase of merchant vessels. The exchange is headquartered in London and provides daily freight market prices and maritime shipping cost indices which are used to settle freight futures The Exchange is also functioning as the market for buying and selling ships. It also engages in the trading of forward freight agreements.