COVID-19 cuts global maritime trade transforms an industry
The pandemic has sent shockwaves through global maritime transport and laid the foundations for a transformed industry and associated supply chains. UNCTAD expects a return to growth in 2021.
The report warns that new waves of the pandemic that further disrupt supply chains and economies might cause a steeper decline. The pandemic has sent shockwaves through supply chains, shipping networks, and ports, leading to plummeting cargo volumes and foiling growth prospects, it says. According to the report, the short-term outlook for maritime trade is grim. Predicting the pandemic’s longer-term impact as well as the timing and scale of the industry’s recovery is fraught with uncertainty.
“The global shipping industry will be at the forefront of efforts towards a sustainable recovery, as a vital enabler of the smooth functioning of international supply chains,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “The industry must be a key stakeholder helping adapt ‘just-in-time efficiency’ logistics to ‘just-in-case preparedness,” he added.