MARITIME TRANSPORT AND INTERNATIONAL SEABORNE TRADE
Drawing upon over four decades of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Review of Maritime Transport, this article considers selected key trends that have shaped the maritime transportation of today. Over the review period, a fundamental shift in the geography of trade has been observed, with developing countries increasingly driving growth in the world economy and seaborne trade, and becoming important players in global value chains. The specialization of countries, including in developing regions, in the provision of the maritime goods and services for which they have established a comparative advantage constitutes another major trend, a move away from previous patterns where developing countries were typically users of maritime transport services. The article also observes that bilateral freight sharing agreements between countries which were prominent in 1970s have largely lost their practical relevance, leading to a further liberalization of markets and resulting in overall relatively lower freight costs.