UNCTAD Maritime Transport Review 2017 available
The recurrent publication prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretariat since 1968 with the aim of fostering transparency of maritime markets and analysing relevant developments, remains the single, most important global review of the industry
The Review of Maritime Transport is a recurrent publication prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretariat since 1968 with the aim of fostering the transparency of maritime markets and analysing relevant developments, which remains the single, most important global review of the industry.
With over 80% of global trade by volume and 70%t of its value being carried on board ships and handled by seaports worldwide, the importance of maritime transport for trade and development cannot be overemphasized. Recognizing the sector’s strategic function, the global policy framework under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscores the role of trade – and by extension, seaborne trade – as an engine for inclusive and sustainable growth and development.
The Review of Maritime Transport 2017 presents key developments in the world economy and international trade and related impacts on shipping demand and supply, and freight and charter markets in 2016 and early 2017, as well as seaports and the regulatory and legal framework.
In addition, this year’s Review features a special chapter on maritime transport connectivity, reflecting the prominence of physical and electronic connectivity as a priority area in the trade and development policy agenda. Ocean shipping will remain the most important mode of transport for international merchandise trade.
However UNCTAD called for increasing global maritime connectivity as some developing countries, small islands and weaker economies cannot reach world markets due to expensive transport connections. A statement noted that “in many countries, domestic shipping services for [transport of goods] are protected from foreign competition. Such market restrictions can lead to unnecessary inefficiencies and a loss of maritime connectivity”. UNCTAD recommends that “national, regional and intercontinental liner shipping services should be interconnected to the extent possible,” in order to curb challenges posed by poor connectivity between pairs of countries.
Morocco is the best-connected Maritime Hub in Africa
Over the past ten years, Morocco has established itself as Africa’s best-connected country in terms of maritime transportand consolidated its position, owing to strategic positioning of Straits of Gibraltar, which link Africa with Europe, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) latest report.
Morocco has improved its performance with a grade of 67 out 100 in 2017, rising up from under 10 in 2007,being followed by Egypt at 54.6 and South Africa at 37.4. The UN report attributed the “sharp increase” in Morocco’s rating to the Tangier Med Port, which attracts deep-sea container vessels on the slope of the Strait of Gibraltar.