Founded some 250 years ago, the Baltic’s original purpose remains to facilitate the business of international bulk shipping. In the early 1700s tallow shipped from the Baltic States was the major trade. Accordingly, in 1744, the London coffee house favoured by commodity dealers negotiating carriage with shipowners was renamed the “Virginia and Baltick”. To combat wild gambling within the market and to ward off unscrupulous dealers, a number of senior coffee house regulars formed a committee to devise rules for the admission of members. After the committee had met on 1 May 1823, a private room with controlled entry was established. This tight, closed market became the framework for the modern-day Baltic Exchange.