Review of Maritime Transport 2015

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Access to frequent and reliable shipping services is key for developing countries’ trade with overseas markets. Firms cannot export competitively and participate global value chains without adequate transport connectivity, and maritime transport continues to be the dominant mode of shipping goods. Seaborne trade accounts for about 80 per cent of global trade volumes, with an even higher share for most developing countries. As in previous issues since 1968, the 2015 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 focus on maritime transport and sustainable development.

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Structure, ownership and registration of the world fleet

The world fleet grew by 3.5 per cent during the 12 months to 1 January 2015, the lowest annual growth rate in over a decade. In total, at the beginning of the year, the world’s commercial fleet consisted of89,464 vessels, with a total tonnage of 1.75 billion dwt. For the first time since the peak of the shipbuilding cycle, the average age of the world fleet increased slightly during 2014. Given the delivery of fewer newbuildings, combined with reduced scrapping activity, newer tonnage no longer compensated for the natural aging of the fleet.

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