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Genoa Ports Hit By Global Trade Slowdown And Covid

Genoa ports hit by global trade slowdown and Covid

Source: Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale
In the space of a few months, the spread of Covid-19 and the measures put in place by world governments to slow down the spread of the virus and reduce the number of victims have taken on a global character that has caused serious disruption to the country’s economic fabric, leading to a fall in demand for goods as well as serious effects on employment
– February 3, 2021 The current crisis, which is not yet fully identifiable in terms of both size and duration, was triggered by an international economic situation that was not flourishing and was already showing the first signs of slowing down. As regards the Italian economy, the estimate of the economic accounts for 2020 confirms the exceptional extent of the pandemic, showing a decrease in the main indicators relating to the national economy: GDP fell (-5.4% in the first quarter and -12.4% in the second quarter), reflecting the effects of the restrictions on consumption, investments and exports, which were recorded from April onwards. After the marked increase in the third quarter (+16%), growth generated mainly by an initial recovery in economic activity following the lockdown, economic activity is expected to fall in the fourth quarter, affected by the health emergency and the new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. The movement of goods and passengers is also expected to be drastically affected by the effects that an unprecedented global health crisis is having on the world economy and those of individual countries. World trade trends inevitably reflect on shipping, given that sea transport accounts for over 90% of world trade. Clarkson Research estimates that global trade volumes will fall by around 10% in 2020 compared to 2019, a figure not seen for forty years, during which time global trade contracted only once in 2009 following the global financial crisis. The asymmetrical spread of the virus has had effects along the transport chain since February. In fact, well before the first known cases occurred in Italy, global trade had to reckon with the interruption of the main industrial activities in China, the country that first had to face several weeks of lockdown at the beginning of 2020. Chinese ports were the first to experience a drop in cargo movements as industrial production and logistics activities came to a standstill. In Europe, the downturn began in late February and continued in March, only to worsen in the following months as all national governments introduced restrictions on economic activities. The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) confirms, however, that the crisis in port movements is widespread in all continents and is extended to all traffic sectors with cruises and containers among the most affected segments. In the Italian port context, also given the homogeneity with which the pandemic has affected our country, the commercial traffic of the Western Ligurian Sea port system recorded 58,456,508 tonnes, equal to -14.2% compared to 2019. Such reduction, even if with some diversifications, has involved all the typologies of traffic, from the containers (-4,9%), to the conventional traffic (-13,5%), up to the solid bulk that close the year with a contraction of the 30,5%. Nevertheless, Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale (AdSP – Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority) maintains its consolidated leadership role both in container handling, with 2,498,850 TEU handled during the year, a sector in which the ports of Genoa and Savona accounted for more than 32% of national gateway traffic in 2019, and in passenger traffic which, although substantially at a standstill due to the travel blockade that began in March, confirms the Western Ligurian Sea port system in first place for cruise traffic in 2020. Source: Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale (AdSP – Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority)

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