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Review of Maritime Transport 2014

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As in previous issues since 1968, the 2014 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 a special chapter on maritime transport challenges for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), covering issues such as the impact of climate change, port investment, shipping connectivity and transport costs.

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Developments in international seaborne trade

Global economic growth faltered in 2013 as economic activity in developing regions suffered setbacks and as the situation in the advanced economies improved only slightly. Reflecting a stumbling growth in the world economy (2.3 per cent growth in world GDP) world merchandise trade volumes expanded, albeit at the modest rate of 2.2 per cent. In tandem, growth in world seaborne shipments decelerated and averaged 3.8 per cent, taking total volumes to nearly 9.6 billion tons. In line with recent trends, much of the expansion was driven by growth in drycargo flows, in particular bulk commodities, which grew by 5.5 per cent. Dry cargo, including (a) the five major bulk commodities (iron ore, coal, grain, bauxite and alumina, phosphate rock), (b) minor bulks (forest products and the like), (c) containerized trade, (d) general cargo/breakbulk, accounted for the largest share (70.2 per cent). Tanker trade (crude oil, petroleum products and gas) was responsible for the remaining 29.8 per cent.

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