Review of Maritime Transport 2013

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As in previous issues since 1968, the 2013 Review of Maritime Transport contains a wealth of analysis and unique data. The Review is the renowned United Nations source of statistics and analysis on seaborne trade, the world fleet, freight costs, port traffic and the latest trends in the legal and regulatory environment for international maritime transport. This year’s Review includes the 10 year time series of unique data on liner shipping connectivity. Underlining recent research that suggests that containerization had a stronger impact on driving globalization than trade liberalization, the Review discusses global developments in containership deployment, and then looks at trends liner shipping connectivity in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

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Securing reliable access to maritime transport for landlocked countries

The passage of trade of landlocked countries through coastal territories to access shipping services is generally governed by a standard principle: goods in transit and their carriage are granted crossing free of fiscal duties and by the most convenient routes. In practice, however, the implementation of this basic norm suffers from numerous operational difficulties, resulting in high transport costs and long travel times, which undermine trade competitiveness and ultimately the economic development of landlocked countries. Over the past decade, under the Almaty Programme of Action launched in 2003, new analytical tools and extensive field research have brought fresh knowledge about the mechanisms explaining detected inefficiencies. Among other things, it has revealed that rent-seeking stakeholders may play against improvements, making transit operations unnecessarily complex and unpredictable, to the detriment of governmental and traders’ efforts. Thus, by exposing conflicting forces at play along transit chains, the analysis shows that the trade of landlocked countries primarily suffers from unreliability resulting from a lack of cooperation among stakeholders, often explaining high transport costs and long transit times.

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