Special publication marks 50 years of UNCTAD work on shipping

23 November 2018

It’s been 50 years since UNCTAD turned its analytical gaze to maritime transport and its role in trade and development: a new work considers what the past can say about the future.

The past and future of maritime transport and its part in trade and development are examined in a special publication released to mark 50 years of UNCTAD’s work on shipping.

The commemorative publication was launched by UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi on the final day of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport, Trade Logistics and Trade Facilitation taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–23 November. The report follows the launch of the 50th-anniversary edition of the Review of Maritime Transport in October.

The new publication offers a forward-looking assessment of issues likely to shape shipping in the future and explores fresh directions in research and analysis, as well as examining the history of the Review of Maritime Transport over the past 50 years. It comprises reflections by seven eminent guest essayists, chosen for their expertise and roles in the maritime transport industry:

The commemorative edition recognizes the unprecedented contribution by the Review of Maritime Transport to the study of the strategic importance of maritime transport for trade and development.

“To understand the success of the Review of Maritime Transport is also to understand its role in helping better understand the maritime transport sector and support informed national policies and legislation, as well as international deliberations,” Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division on trade and technology, said.

In addition to core issues covered by the Review of Maritime Transport since 1968, including demand and supply, ports and freight markets, and legal and regulatory developments affecting transport and trade, the commemorative report considers several emerging themes.

These include consolidation in liner shipping, alliance formation, maritime transport costs, connectivity, green shipping, ports and environmental sustainability, digital innovations, climate change mitigation and resilience.

The special publication concludes that by monitoring the present in the context of the past, and by identifying new topics, the Review of Maritime Transport will be well placed to maintain its position as an invaluable source of information and guidance on maritime transport for years to come.