Review of Maritime Transport 2012

More than 80 per cent of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and an even higher percentage of developing-country trade is carried in ships.

The Review of Maritime Transport, an annual publication prepared by the Division on Technology and Logistics of the UNCTAD secretariat, is an important source of information on this vital sector. It closely monitors developments affecting world seaborne trade, freight rates, ports, surface transport and logistics services, as well as trends in ship ownership and control and fleet age, tonnage supply and productivity.

The Review contains a chapter on legal and regulatory developments and each year includes a special chapter analysing a selected topic in depth.

In common with previous issues, the 2012 Review contains critical analysis and a wealth of unique data, including long-term data series on seaborne trade, fleet capacity, shipping services and port handling activities. This year's Review notes that world seaborne trade grew by 4 per cent in 2011, whereas the tonnage of the world fleet grew at a greater rate, by almost 10 per cent, as shipowners took delivery of vessels that had been ordered before the economic crisis began. With supply outstripping demand, freight rates fell even further, to unprofitable levels for most shipping companies. For importers and exporters, however, the low freight rates helped to reduce transaction costs, which is important for helping to revive global trade.

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