World seaborne trade grew by just 3.8% in 2013, new report reveals

20 November 2014

The Review of Maritime Transport 2014, covering developments in international seaborne trade, shipping, the world fleet, ports, freight markets, and transport-related regulatory and legal frameworks, is now available. The Review also looks at marginalization of small island developing states.

Reflecting halting growth in the world economy, world seaborne shipments grew by an average of just 3.8 per cent in 2013, UNCTAD's Review of Maritime Transport 2014 reports. Much of the expansion in seaborne trade was driven by growth in dry cargo flows, in particular bulk commodities.

As in previous issues, the Review of Maritime Transport 2014 report contains critical analyses and unique data, including long-term data series, on seaborne trade, fleet capacity, shipping services, and port-handling activities.

The new review features a special chapter that sheds light on the transport and trade logistics challenges faced by the small island developing states (SIDS) worldwide, in recognition of 2014 being United Nations' Year of SIDS.



Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global economy. Around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide. These shares are even higher in most developing countries.