Review of maritime transport 2012

UNCTAD's Review of Maritime Transport has provided 44 years of uninterrupted coverage of the key developments affecting international seaborne trade, shipping, the world fleet, ports, freight markets, and transport-related regulatory and legal frameworks. The Review also covers inland transport and intermodal connections. Keeping track of both long-term trends and the latest developments, the Review has become a standard reference work in its field. 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.