This is an analysis of the impact of exchange rate risk on the performance of major shipping companies from two important maritime nations, Japan and Norway. For the shipping industry, such risk is exacerbated by freight rates fixed in US dollars which must then be converted into numerous other currencies. The appreciation of the Yen against the US dollar has been such that Japanese companies have been impelled to insulate themselves from exchange rate movements by natural hedging. For Norway, where fluctuations of the Krone against the US dollar have been less dramatic, exposure has been maintained, allowing an element of speculation. In both cases the market indicates that exchange rate risk is a significant factor in the determination of corporate performance.