Shipping is an industry that is highly geared towards international trade and therefore, would seem to be highly susceptible to fluctuations in macroeconomic factors. This article investigates the impact of exchange rates, interest rates and oil prices on stock returns of 143 shipping companies from 16 countries. We also investigate the factors which determine the extent to which firm are sensitive to macroeconomic variables. Our results indicate that the low incidence of significant exposure to exchange rate and interest rates suggests that most shipping firms have utilised reasonably successful hedging strategies to reduce the impact of these macroeconomic risks. Finally, we find that, for the minority of shipping firms significantly affected by oil price increases, the effects have usually been beneficial.