Maritime transport indicators

China, Singapore and the Republic of Korea are best integrated into the global liner shipping network
World container port throughput reached 701 million TEUs in 2016
Diminished growth in liner shipping connectivity among the world leaders
Developing economies in Asia and Oceania handle 60 per cent of world port container traffic
Liner shipping connectivity, 2016
Map liner shipping connectivity, 2016
a
As indicated by the LSBCI.
b
As indicated by the LSCI.
c
Change of less than 5% compared to the value in the previous year.
Find the data on UNCTADstat

Liner shipping connectivity throughout the world

The economy best connected to the global liner shipping network in 2016 was China, followed by Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Sub-regional leaders include Panama in Latin America, Morocco in Africa, and Sri Lanka in South Asia. The Russian Federation is the best connected transition economy. Within Europe and Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, economies are particularly closely connected with each other by shipping lines.

Trends in port container traffic

In 2016, 701 million TEUs of containers were handled on ports worldwide. World container port throughput has continuously increased over the last six years, since 2014, however, at a slower pace than before.

Figure 1World container port throughput (Millions of TEUs)

Trends among the most connected economies

In recent years, liner shipping connectivity of the top-5 economies remained steady, following several years of strong growth. The LSCI of the world leader, China, which from 2004 to 2014 had increased on average by 6.5 points each year, went up by only 2.0 points between 2014 and 2015 and by 3.7 points between 2015 and 2016. Hong Kong SAR (-16.3) and Malaysia (-8.1) recorded a drop in LSCI levels between 2015 and 2016, while the LSCI of the Republic of Korea remained almost unchanged (-0.6).

Figure 2Liner shipping connectivity index, top five economies (China 2004=100)

Port container throughput by group of economies

Asia’s role as an important port loading and unloading area (see World seaborne trade page) and its high liner shipping connectivity (see above) is also reflected in the region’s high contribution to containerized port throughput. In 2016, ports in developing Asia and Oceania handled 426 million TEUs of containers, thereby accounting for 61 per cent of the world port container traffic. The shares of developing economies in America (7 per cent) and Africa (4 per cent) were much smaller. Developed economies accounted for one quarter. 1

1
For further analyses on that topic, see UNCTAD (2017c).
Figure 3Containerized port traffic by group of economies, 2016 (Millions of twenty-foot equivalent units)

Summary tables

Table 1

Liner shipping connectivity index of most connected economies by group of economies, 2016

(China 2004 = 100)

Developing economies: Africa

Economy
(Ranked by 2016 value)

2006

2011

2015

2016

Morocco

9

55

68

60

Egypt

50

51

61

59

South Africa

26

36

41

35

Djibouti

7

21

21

33

Mauritius

12

15

30

32

Togo

11

14

20

29

Angola

9

11

20

27

Congo

9

11

20

26

Namibia

9

12

18

23

Nigeria

13

20

21

21

Developing economies: America

Economy
(Ranked by 2016 value)

2006

2011

2015

2016

Panama

28

38

46

51

Colombia

20

27

42

50

Mexico

30

36

43

43

Brazil

32

35

41

39

Ecuador

14

22

22

36

Argentina

26

31

37

36

Peru

16

21

37

35

Chile

16

23

36

34

Uruguay

17

24

35

33

Bahamas

16

25

28

28

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

Economy
(Ranked by 2016 value)

2006

2011

2015

2016

China

113

152

167

171

Singapore

86

105

117

120

Korea, Republic of

72

92

113

113

Malaysia

69

91

111

102

China, Hong Kong SAR

99

115

117

101

China, Taiwan Province of

66

67

76

78

United Arab Emirates

47

63

70

73

Sri Lanka

37

41

54

62

Viet Nam

15

50

46

62

Saudi Arabia

41

60

65

61

Transition economies

Economy
(Ranked by 2016 value)

2006

2011

2015

2016

Russian Federation

13

21

43

41

Ukraine

15

21

30

28

Georgia

3

4

6

13

Montenegro

_

4

3

7

Albania

0

5

4

4

Developed economies

Economy
(Ranked by 2016 value)

2006

2011

2015

2016

United States

86

82

97

94

United Kingdom

82

87

95

94

Germany

81

93

98

90

Belgium

76

88

87

86

Netherlands

81

92

96

84

Spain

62

77

85

81

Japan

65

68

69

74

France

68

72

77

67

Italy

58

70

67

63

Poland

8

27

51

56

Table 2

Liner shipping bilateral connectivity indices of the world’s seven most connected economies

(China 2004 = 100)

Economy
(Ranked by LSCI 2016)

Year

LSCI

Linear shipping bilateral connectivity index vis-à-vis ...

China

Singapore

Korea,
Rep. of

Malaysia

China, Hong Kong SAR

United
States

United
Kingdom

China

2011

152

_

0.787

0.784

0.757

0.847

0.685

0.720

2016

171

_

0.816

0.852

0.817

0.801

0.734

0.756

Singapore

2011

105

_

0.704

0.794

0.751

0.607

0.665

2016

120

_

0.779

0.845

0.741

0.682

0.719

Korea, Republic of

2011

92

_

0.619

0.760

0.633

0.584

2016

113

_

0.773

0.703

0.700

0.732

Malaysia

2011

91

_

0.730

0.585

0.609

2016

102

_

0.740

0.673

0.724

China, Hong Kong SAR

2011

115

_

0.678

0.707

2016

101

_

0.701

0.684

United States

2011

82

_

0.616

2016

94

_

0.742

United Kingdom

2011

87

_

2016

94

_