The United Nations trade and development body (UNCTAD) has cited a range of risks and potential shifts for international shipping in its annual report.
Protectionism, a new trend driven by political populism, could threaten growth in maritime trade, restrict flows and shift trade patterns.
On the other hand, the rise of e-commerce, digitalization and even autonomous ships could make moving goods more practical and efficient. Also, the Belt and Road policy promoted by China could offer a boost to global trade by opening up new markets, the report said.
Stronger demand for ships could lead to excessive ship building orders, and the consolidation of shipping lines into fewer hands could restrict competition, it added. — Freightwaves.com