The Review of Maritime Transport is an annual publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat. It is a comprehensive study providing up-to-date statistics and information on maritime and ancillary services. It focuses on developments concerning maritime activities in developing countries as compared with other groups of countries.
The Review 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.
Since 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, 1990 and 2000. The particular focus of this edition is on developments in trade and maritime transport in sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2006 edition of the Review of Maritime Transport reports that the world merchant fleet expanded by 7.2 per cent to reach 960.0 million deadweight tons (dwt) at the beginning of 2006. The average age of the world fleet fell marginally to 12.2 years, with almost 27.1 per cent of the fleet 20 years of age and over. World container port traffic continued to expand at the rate of 12.6 per cent during 2004, reaching 336.1 million TEUs. Ports of developing countries and territories handled 137.0 million TEUs, or 40.7 per cent of the total. World total freight payments as a proportion of total import value stood at 3.6 per cent in 2004. The freight factor was 3.1 per cent for developed market-economy countries compared with 2.9 per cent in 2003, while for developing countries it decreased to 5.9 per cent from 6.1 per cent in 2003.