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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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Freight rates and maritime transport costs

Developing countries, especially in Africa and Oceania, pay 40 to 70 per cent more on average for the international transport of their imports than developed countries. The main reasons for this situation are to be found in these regions’ trade imbalances, pending port and trade facilitation reforms, as well as lower trade volumes and shipping connectivity. There is potential for policymakers to partly remedy the situation through investments and reforms, especially in the regions’ seaports, transit systems and customs administrations.

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