Maritime transport indicators

Liner shipping connectivity, 2020
Notes: Top 10 overall connected economies are shown in the default selection. Data on bilateral connectivity are not available for all economies.
a
As indicated by the LSBCI.
b
As indicated by the LSCI.
c
Change of less than 5 per cent compared to the value in the previous year.
Find the data on UNCTADstat

Liner shipping connectivity throughout the world

In the third quarter of 2020, the economy best connected to the global liner shipping network, as measured by the LSCI, was China. Singapore, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America and Malaysia followed next in the rankings. Sub-regional leaders included: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium in Europe; Panama, Colombia and Mexico in Latin America and the Caribbean; Egypt, Morocco and South Africa in Africa; and Sri Lanka and India in South Asia. In 2019, all top-15 bilateral connections were intra-regional, namely within Europe and within Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.

Over the last ten years, the rank order among the most connected economies remained almost unchanged, with China far ahead of the others. During the last year, the United States of America showed a fast increase in its connectivity, allowing the country to move one rank up, before Malaysia.

Figure 1Liner shipping connectivity index, top five economies (China Q1 2006=100)

Port container traffic

In 2019, 811 million TEUs of containers were handled in ports worldwide. World container port throughput grew by 2 per cent between 2018 and 2019. Thus, further momentum was lost – in tandem with world seaborne trade (see on the World seaborne trade page) – after a year of firm growth (+5.1 per cent) in 2018.

Figure 2World container port throughput (Millions of twenty-foot equivalent units)

Asia’s role as a main port loading and unloading region (see on the World seaborne trade page) and its high liner shipping connectivity are reflected by the region’s high contribution to containerized port throughput. In 2019, ports in developing economies in Asia and Oceania handled 504 million TEUs of containers, accounting for 62 per cent of world port container traffic. The shares of developing America and developing Africa were less than 10 per cent each. Developed economies accounted for 27 per cent.

Port calls

The economy that recorded most port calls of ships in 2019 was Norway. On average, cargo-carrying ships departed from Norwegian ports within one half day after their arrival.1

1
For further analyses on that topic, see UNCTAD (2020d).
Figure 3Containerized port traffic by group of economies, 2019 (Millions of twenty-foot equivalent units)

Summary tables

Table 1

Liner shipping connectivity index of most connected economies, by region

(China Q1 2006=100)

Economy
(Ranked by Q3 2020 value)

Q1 2010

Q1 2015

Q1 2019

Q1 2020

Q2 2020

Q3 2020

Northern America and Europe

1.

United States of America

75

86

93

93

93

103

2.

United Kingdom

80

85

87

90

90

90

3.

Netherlands

80

81

89

92

92

90

4.

Belgium

79

84

85

89

89

88

5.

Spain

74

80

84

89

89

88

Latin America and the Caribbean

1.

Panama

33

42

47

49

49

51

2.

Colombia

29

40

45

48

48

49

3.

Mexico

32

41

45

49

49

48

4.

Peru

23

31

39

40

40

39

5.

Ecuador

21

22

33

39

39

39

Africa

1.

Egypt

45

57

64

61

61

68

2.

Morocco

45

58

62

69

69

67

3.

South Africa

32

38

40

40

40

42

4.

Ghana

20

22

20

37

37

40

5.

Togo

15

26

35

35

35

36

Asia

1.

China

118

138

153

158

158

160

2.

Singapore

90

98

108

110

110

112

3.

Korea, Republic of

73

94

103

108

108

108

4.

Malaysia

72

91

92

99

99

98

5.

China, Hong Kong SAR

88

92

89

94

94

93

Oceania

1.

Australia

29

33

34

34

34

37

2.

New Zealand

19

22

29

29

29

29

3.

French Polynesia

10

9

10

14

14

14

4.

New Caledonia

11

12

11

10

10

11

5.

Papua New Guinea

7

10

11

10

10

11

Table 2

Time at port, by market segment, in the top 20 economies by port call, 2019

Economy

Number of
port calls

Median time at port (days)

All market
segments

Liquid bulk

Container
ship

Dry
breakbulk

Dry
bulk

LPG
carriers

LNG
carriers

1

Norway

586 161

0.4

0.6

0.3

0.3

0.9

0.8

0.3

2

United States of Americaa

290 748

1.4

1.6

1.0

1.8

1.8

2.0

1.3

3

Japan

280 874

0.4

0.3

0.4

1.1

0.9

0.3

1.0

4

China

254 868

1.0

1.1

0.6

1.2

2.0

1.0

1.2

5

Italy

233 081

1.3

1.3

0.8

1.9

3.6

1.4

..

6

Turkey

200 494

1.1

1.1

0.7

1.5

2.7

1.1

1.4

7

United Kingdomb

197 893

1.2

1.1

0.6

1.5

4.0

1.4

1.3

8

Indonesia

175 242

0.7

0.5

1.0

1.1

0.4

0.9

1.0

9

Greece

159 583

1.3

1.3

1.1

1.3

3.6

1.1

1.4

10

Spain

142 773

0.9

0.8

0.7

1.1

2.3

1.0

1.1

11

Netherlands

124 059

0.6

0.5

0.8

0.4

0.8

0.9

1.3

12

Denmark

113 170

0.7

0.7

0.5

0.8

0.9

1.1

..

13

Germany

108 634

0.6

0.4

0.8

0.5

2.5

0.8

..

14

Canada

104 330

0.7

1.1

1.5

0.3

0.3

..

..

15

Korea, Republic of

95 992

1.3

1.0

1.4

1.6

2.5

1.3

1.1

16

Sweden

78 766

0.8

0.7

0.6

1.0

0.5

0.8

0.6

17

Francec

72 014

0.8

0.8

0.6

1.3

2.3

0.7

1.0

18

Russian Federation

71 412

1.1

1.1

0.8

1.5

3.1

1.1

1.2

19

Croatia

71 023

1.2

1.0

0.6

2.6

1.8

..

..

20

Australia

66 076

1.5

1.3

1.2

1.8

1.7

0.9

1.2

Note: Total arrivals include arrivals of ferries, roll-on roll-off and passenger ships, for which the time in port is not computed.

a
Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands are not considered in median time at port.
b
The Channel Islands and Isle of Man are not considered in median time at port.
c
The French overseas departments are not considered in median time at port.
Find the data on UNCTADstat
Table 3

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

Economy
(Ranked by LSCI 2020)

Year

LSCI

(China Q1 2006=100)

LSBCI vis-à-vis ...

China

Singapore

Korea,
Rep. of

Malaysia

China, Hong Kong SAR

United States of America

Netherlands

China

2015

138

_

0.742

0.843

0.642

0.782

0.510

0.549

2020

158

_

0.847

0.969

0.715

0.801

0.532

0.598

Singapore

2015

98

_

0.610

0.738

0.684

0.377

0.503

2020

110

_

0.717

0.847

0.691

0.424

0.574

Korea, Republic of

2015

94

_

0.527

0.661

0.391

0.462

2020

108

_

0.609

0.685

0.443

0.530

Malaysia

2015

91

_

0.567

0.393

0.463

2020

99

_

0.593

0.429

0.524

China, Hong Kong SAR

2015

92

_

0.435

0.487

2020

94

_

0.452

0.524

United States of America

2015

86

_

0.419

2020

93

_

0.474

Netherlands

2015

81

_

2020

92

_