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UNCTAD: Container ports – the fastest, the busiest, and the best connected

Container ports – the fastest, the busiest, and the best connected – August 17, 2019

Known as the “humble heroes” of globalization, containers are handled in hundreds of millions at container ports worldwide annually. Efficient and well-connected container ports enabled by frequent and regular shipping services are key to minimizing trade costs, including transport costs, linking supply chains and supporting international trade. Thus, port performance is a critical factor that can shape countries’ trade competitiveness. Every hour of port time saved by ships translates into savings in port infrastructure expenditure for ports, ship capital costs for carriers, and inventory holding outlays for shippers.

Recognizing the importance of measuring container port performance, UNCTAD developed the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) in 2004 to determine countries’ positions within global liner shipping networks; the latest country-level LSCI statistics were published in July 2019. Subsequently, on 7 August, UNCTAD launched two new datasets:

  1. The port LSCI. This indicator draws upon the same methodology applied to the country-level LSCI. It is developed in collaboration with MDSTransmodal and covers more than 900 ports over the 2006-2019 period.[1]
  2. A new comprehensive table that features port calls by country, the typical turnaround time as well as the average size and age of ships. The statistics are derived from automatic identification system (AIS) data in collaboration with MarineTraffic. The first year of coverage is 2018, with updates scheduled every six months.

The two new datasets complement existing UNCTAD maritime statistics and indicators that measure and track progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets. Insights generated by the new data will help businesses and governments identify global trends in liner shipping connectivity and port efficiency as well as monitor the position of their ports within the global container ports landscape.

More information on this can be accessed here.

UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964 and it supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalised economy more fairly and effectively.

Source: UNCTAD

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