By PROSPER MAKENE

UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2021 to be published on 18 November examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maritime trade volumes and how the shipping crisis is affecting economic recovery and threatening the delivery of critical vaccines and food supplies.

The report paints a picture of unprecedented pressures in global supply chains, dramatic spikes in freight rates, significant price rises on the horizon for consumers and importers and potential shifts in trade patterns due to trade tensions and the quest for more resilience in maritime trade.

UNCTAD also raises concern over the continuing pandemic-induced crisis around crew changes, with lockdowns, border closures and lack of international flights leaving hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded at sea, unable to be replaced or repatriated.

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