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UNCTAD overview of trends in maritime piracy

Focus on costs and broader trade-related implications UNCTAD has recently published a two-part report considering the costs and trade-related implications of maritime piracy and taking stock of regulatory and other initiatives pursued by the international community in an effort to combat piracy.Part I of the report presents overall trends in maritime piracy and related crimes, and highlights some of the key issues at stake by focusing on its costs and broader trade-related implications.Part II of the report provides an overview of the contemporary international legal regime for countering piracy and identifies key examples of international cooperation and multilateral initiatives to combat the phenomenon.The importance of oceans and seas for trade-led economic prosperity has increased in tandem with growth in the world economy, global merchandise trade and maritime transport activity. However, increased international trade volumes and value have also heightened the exposure and vulnerability of international shipping as a potential target for piracy, armed robbery and other crimes.During the past decade, which has seen a dramatic rise in maritime piracy in East African waters and pirates becoming more sophisticated, violent and resilient, the issue has considerably increased in importance and emerged as a transnational humanitarian, economic and security challenge.While intensified international ...

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UNCTAD releases a review of Maritime Transport 2013

Shipping rates remained low, threatening firms profitability, volume increased by 4.3 per cent The globe's longest-lasting and largest cycle of ship building finally began to slow in 2012, UNCTAD's Review of Maritime Transport 2013 reveals, but the effects of overcapacity are still being felt. Shipping rates remained low, threatening firms' profitability, even as the volume shipped last year increased by 4.3 per cent.Driven by rising domestic demand in China and by increased intra-Asian and South-South trade, international seaborne trade performed relatively well in 2012, with volumes increasing by 4.3 per cent, reaching 9.2 billion tons for the first time ever, UNCTAD's Review of Maritime Transport 2013 (RMT) reports.World container port throughput also increased by an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2012, to 601.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2012. This growth was reflected in a strong port-finance sector as investors looked to infrastructure to provide long-term stable returns.The 2012 increase in seaborne trade did not do much to boost the maritime shipping industry's profitability, however, despite the fact that last year, for the first time in over a decade, the number of ships entering into service declined from the total of the previous year. The largest cycle of ship ...

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Meeting on Climate change impacts and adaptation: a challenge for global ports

Geneva on 29-30 September The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued a notice stating that it will host in Geneva on 29-30 September an Ad Hoc Expert Meeting on climate change impacts and adaption: a challenge for global portsWith over 80 per cent of the volume of world trade carried by sea, international shipping and ports provide crucial linkages in global supply-chains and are essential for the ability of all countries, including those that are landlocked, to access global markets.Ports are likely to be affected directly and indirectly by climatic changes, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and rising temperatures, with broader implications for international trade and for the development prospects of the most vulnerable nations, in particular LDCs and SIDS.Given their strategic role as part of the globalized trading system, adapting ports and transport systems in different parts of the world to the impacts of climate change is of vital importance. A good understanding of risks and vulnerabilities is a pre-condition to well-designed and effective adaptation response measures that enhance the resilience of systems, structures and processes and minimize the adverse effects of climatic factors.To help advance the important debate on how best to ...

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Port operators in Africa experience strains due to increase in the size of ships

Larger vessels require deeper ports and investments in specialised container cranes Sea port operators in Africa are experiencing growing strains on their infrastructure following a sharp increase in the size of ships calling on their ports.The operators of ports such as Mombasa are now under pressure to modernise and expand their capacity or lose business."Ships are getting bigger, thus increasing carrying capacities and efficiency, but exerting pressure on port infrastructure to adequately support the calls," said Mr Gichiri Ndua, managing director of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which runs the port of Mombasa."Out of the 23 ships scheduled for delivery through 2012, 12 will exceed 100,000 gross tonnes," he said.A recent survey by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that between July 2004 and July 2010 the average vessel size grew by 65 per cent."Larger vessels require deeper ports and investments in specialised container cranes," UNCTAD says in a logistics report for the third quarter of 2010."In 77 countries, the largest ship in July 2010 was larger than the largest ship in 2009; in 43 countries the vessel size has remained unchanged; and in 42 countries, the largest vessels deployed in 2010 are smaller than the largest vessels ...

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