The best-connected territories for seaborne trade were all in Asia, with China (1), Singapore (2), Republic of Korea (3), Hong Kong (China) (4), and Malaysia (5) rounding out the Top 5.
So, China remained the trading nation best connected to others by sea in 2018 according to UNCTAD’s latest Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI), released alongside the Review of Maritime Transport 2018. Most noteworthy, the country’s LSCI number has increased by 88% since UNCTAD first compiled the index in 2004.
In contrast, the worst-connected territories were Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Tuvalu.
The Top 5 territories that increased their score in the index in 2018 compared to the year before did so by the following percentage growth rates.
• United Arab Emirates (179%)
• Maldives (125%)
• Mauritania (77%)
• Eritrea (73%)
• the Federated States of Micronesia (69%)
By contrast, the following economies experienced the sharpest percentage decreases in the 2018 index as compared to 2017:
• Ukraine (-61%)
• Albania (-49%)
• Montenegro (-48%)
• New Zealand (-43%)
• Northern Mariana Islands (-35%)
Main maritime hubs
Certainly, for maritime companies, it is more cost effective to concentrate cargo traffic in main global hubs. The most attractive maritime routes connect Eastern Asia and North America (transpacific eastbound) and Eastern Asia to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean (westbound).
Global maritime hubs are those countries that manage to benefit from being located at the crossroads of major shipping routes. Above all, they also provide world class logistics and transshipment services.
The LSCI is an indicator of a country’s position within the global liner shipping networks. It is calculated from data on the world’s container ship deployment. These include the number of ships, their container carrying capacity, the number of services and companies, and the size of the largest ship.
The Review of Maritime Transport, first published in 1968, is UNCTAD’s longest-running flagship report and marks its 50th anniversary in 2018.