The pace of global shipping activity is set to lose
steam next year as economic turmoil, conflict in Ukraine and the impact of the
pandemic weaken the outlook for trade, U.N. agency UNCTAD said on Tuesday 29
The world’s largest
investment banks expect global economic growth to slow further in 2023
following a year roiled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring inflation.
The slowdown is expected to impact shipping, which
transports more than 80% of global trade, although tanker freight rates could
In its Review of Maritime Transport for 2022, the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projectedglobal maritime trade growth would moderate
to 1.4% this year and stay at that level in 2023.
This compares with estimated growth of 3.2% in 2021
and overall shipment volume of 11 billion tonnes, versus a 3.8% decline in
For the overall 2023-2027 period, growth is predicted
at an annual average of 2.1%, a slower rate than the previous three-decade
average of 3.3%, UNCTAD said, adding that “downside risks are weighing heavily
on this forecast”.
UNCTAD said the “logjam in logistics will dissolve
with the rebalancing of demand and supply forces”, but added the risks of
industrial action in ports and hinterland transport had increased.
UNCTAD called for investment in maritime supply chains
to enable ports, shipping fleets and hinterland connections to be better
prepared for future global crises, climate change and the transition to
“We need to be better
prepared to cope with shocks to global value chains,” UNCTAD Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan told reporters.