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Review of Maritime Transport 2012

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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 a 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 control and fleet age, tonnage supply and productivity. The review contains information on legal and regulatory developments and includes an in-depth focus annually on a selected topic.

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Sustainable freight transport development and finance

The importance of freight transport as a trade enabler, engine of growth and a driver of social development is widely recognized. However, the associated adverse impacts of freight transport activity on the environment, human health and climate are also cause for concern. Overall, transport consumes over 50 per cent of global liquid fossil fuels and is projected to grow by 1.4 per cent per year from 2008 to 2035 and to account for 82 per cent of the total projected increment in liquid fuel use. It is also estimated that freight in tons per kilometre will triple by 2050 and that energy demand of commercial transportation - trucks, aeroplanes, ships and trains - will rise by over 70 per cent by 2040, driven by economic growth particularly in developing countries. At the same time, the transport sector accounts for around 13 per cent of all world greenhouse gases (GHGs), of which 5.5 per cent are related to logistics (with freight transport accounting for 90 per cent of the total share). Nearly 25 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are transport related and these are expected to increase by 57 per cent worldwide (or 1.7 per cent a year) between 2005 and 2030.

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