The Review of Maritime Transport, an annual publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat, provides comprehensive and up-to-date statistics and information on 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 current statistics with those of the past few years and with the figures from 1970, 1980 and 1990. Developments in African trade and maritime transport are featured in this edition.
The 2003 edition indicates that world output grew by 1.9 per cent in 2002 and world seaborne trade (goods loaded) increased by 2.5 per cent. Indicators for world fleet productivity (calculated in tons carried per dwt and thousands of ton-miles per dwt) showed decreases of 1.4 and 1.8 per cent from the figures for 2001. World container port traffic expanded by 2.2 per cent over that of the previous year, reaching 236.7 million TEUs. The ports of developing countries handled 96.6 million TEUs, or 40.8 per cent of the total.