Challenging times ahead for the shipping industry

The year 2008 marked a major turning point in the history of the world economy and trade.

A tightening of credit brought about by the global financial crisis and reduced demand for goods and shipping services lead to a decelerated growth in international seaborne trade in 2008. At the same time, the supply of new vessels continued to grow. This growth was the result of vessel orders placed before the financial crisis, when the industry was still expecting continuing high growth rates in demand - which did not materialise. As the world's shipping capacity continues to increase, the industry finds itself confronted with a surge of oversupply and tumbling freight rates.
These challenges are further compounded by other developments, including maritime security at sea and the need to address the climate change challenge.
The 'Review of Maritime Transport' is an annual publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat. Over 80 per cent of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the Review provides valuable statistical information on this sector as well as other transport modes.Key developments reported in the latest Review.
In 2008, world seaborne trade (goods loaded) increased by 3.6 per cent to reach an estimated 8.17bn tons.

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