Transport Infrastructure and Services

Transport infrastructure and services, including shipping, ports, roads and railways are essential for global merchandise trade and related supply chains.

In accordance with its mandate, UNCTAD is carrying out work to help developing countries improve their transport systems and ensure better access to worldwide markets.

In its intervention, UNCTAD is increasingly adopting a wider and multifaceted perspective that crosses modes and dimensions to better reflect the fast evolving trends that shape trade patterns and define the operating landscape of the transportation sector.

When undertaking research and analytical work, consensus building activities as well as technical assistance and capacity building initiatives, particular focus is put on building the regulatory and institutional capacities, developing and strengthening policies and promoting technical skills and expertise.

Transport Infrastructure and Services  


Key issues addressed and areas of intervention include:

  • Freight transport economics with particular coverage of maritime transport, including trends and developments in inter alia, world merchandise trade, shipping, seaborne trade, port-related issues, transport costs, freight rates, as well as maritime transport connectivity and access
  • Promoting efficient transport networks and transport corridor development
  • Transport and logistics of the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and the small island developing states (SIDS), multimodal and transit transport
  • Enabling sustainable freight transport systems, including through carbon emission reduction in freight transport, improved transport connectivity and transition towards energy efficient, clean, and environmentally friendly freight transport systems
  • Financing sustainable freight transport systems


Select relevant outputs include:

  • Review of Maritime Transport
  • Technical reports on the transport and logistics of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and the small island developing states (SIDS)
  • Consensus-building activities, including in particular Expert Meetings on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation on relevant themes such as LLDCs, transit transport, SIDS and Sustainable Freight Transport
  • Technical assistance programmes and partnerships
  • Advisory services as well as capacity-building and training activities

Contact the Transport Section:



COP 25
09 December 2019Seizing the opportunity of the climate action momentum
07 August 2019Shanghai tops ranking of world's best-connected ports
07 August 2019Container ports: the fastest, the busiest, and the best connected
17 July 2019Maritime connectivity: countries vie for positions
African NTFCs
28 November 2018Committees are cornerstone of pan-African trade dream, forum hears
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 Meetings and Events


 Documents and Publications

Freight rates and maritime transport costs (UNCTAD/RMT/2015 (Chapter 3 only))
Policy options to reduce maritime transport costs (UNCTAD/RMT/2012 (page 74-76 only))
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 Statements and Presentations

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