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Shipping carried more than 80 percent of the world's goods by volume in 2015, and its slow growth reflects sluggish global trade.
Shipping of oil, however, recorded its best performance since 2008 - thanks to low oil prices, ample supply and stable demand, the report says. But shipping's overall growth was dragged down by the limited growth of dry bulk commodity trade, in particular coal and iron ore, and by the poor performance of container shipping, which carries about 95 percent of the world’s manufactured goods.
Despite this slow growth, the industry's carrying capacity continued to grow, jumping 3.5 percent to 1.8 billion deadweight tons in 2015 and pushing freight rates down to record lows.
“With global trade growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis, the immediate outlook for the shipping industry remains uncertain and subject to downside risks,” said UNCTAD secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi.
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