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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Freight rates and maritime transport costs

Freight rates in 2011 and the beginning of 2012 have often remained at unprofitable levels. Within the three segments - dry bulk, liquid bulk and containerized cargo - substantial freight rate drops have been reported. Vessel oversupply can be identified as a driving factor behind this development. The investment in large capacity ships within the tanker and the dry bulk segment accelerated competition as ship operators were willing to accept freight rates below or close to operating costs.

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