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Global Shipping Growth Threatened by Economic Crisis - UNCTAD

Global Shipping Growth Threatened by Economic Crisis - UNCTAD

(30 November 2022 – United Kingdom) The pace of global shipping activity is set to lose steam next year as economic turmoil, conflict in Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic weaken the outlook for trade, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) agency.

This slowdown is expected to affect shipping, which carries more than 80 percent of world trade, although oil tanker freight rates could remain high.

Global maritime trade growth is expected to slow to 1.4 percent this year from 3.2 percent in 2021, the United Nations agency reported in its flagship report, Review of Maritime Transport 2022. UNCTAD is an intergovernmental organisation within the United Nations (UN) Secretariat that promotes the interests of developing countries in world trade.

For the period 2023-2027, growth is set to expand at an annual average of 2.1 percent, a slower rate than the previous three-decade average of 3.3 percent. UNCTAD added that “downside risks are weighing heavily on this forecast.”

The agency called for investment in maritime supply chains to enable ports, shipping fleets and hinterland connections to be better prepared for future global crises, climate change and the transition to low carbon energy.

"Logjams in logistics will dissolve with the rebalancing of demand and supply forces" UNCTAD reported, but added the risks of industrial action in ports and hinterland transport had increased.

"We need to be better prepared to cope with shocks to global value chains" said UNCTAD Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan.

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