Anglo-Swedish scholarly correspondence from the mid-eighteenth century contains repeated mentions of two merchants, Abraham Spalding and Gustavus Brander. The letters describe how these men facilitated the exchange of knowledge over the Baltic Sea and the North Sea by shipping letters, books and other scientific objects, as well as by enabling long-distance financial transactions. Through the case of Spalding and Brander, this article examines the material basis for early modern scholarly exchange. Using the concept of logistics to highlight and relate several mercantile practices, it examines ways of making scholarly knowledge move, and analyses merchants’ potential motives for offering their services to scholarly communities. As logisticians in the Republic of Letters, these merchants could turn their commercial infrastructure into a generator of cultural status valid in both London and Stockholm. Using mercantile services, scholarly knowledge could in turn traverse the region in reliable, cost-effective and secure ways. The case of Spalding and Brander thus highlights how contacts between scholarly communities intersected with other contemporary modes of transnational exchange, and it shows how scholarly exchange relied on relationships based on norms different from the communalism often used to characterize the early modern Republic of Letters. Thus the article suggests new ways of studying early modern scholarly exchange in practice.