The Review of Maritime Transport, is an annual publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat. The Review is a comprehensive study providing up-to-date statistics and information on the maritime and ancillary services. The Review focuses on developments concerning maritime activities in developing countries as compared with other groups of countries. It provides a complete view of the development of world seaborne trade, world fleet size by principal types of vessel, ownership of the world fleet by countries of registration, fleet development, tonnage oversupply, the average age of the world fleet, productivity and freight markets and rates. The Review also contains chapters on port development, including container port traffic and container terminal throughput, as well as developments in trade and transport efficiency. As the Review has been published annually since 1968, a significant historical time series has been built up, and the Review uses this to compare statistics with those of the past few years and with the figures from 1970, 1980 and 1990.
The Review of Maritime Transport, 2002 indicates that, after 15 consecutive years of positive annual growth, world seaborne trade (goods loaded) contracted to 5.83 billion tons. Indicators for world fleet productivity calculated in tons carried per dwt and thousands of ton-miles per dwt showed a decrease of 2.7 and 4.5 per cent from the figures for 2000. Latest figures show that world container port traffic continued to expand at a rate of 15.4 per cent over the previous year, reaching 225.3 million TEUs. The ports of developing countries handled 94.2 million TEUs, or 41.8 per cent of the total.