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Africa misses out in top shipping connectivity index

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Container shipping


Nigeria scores low on new index
In the last 10 years, no African country has made the leading positing in the shipping connectivity index (maritime transport networks), according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

However, Nigeria, a maritime endowed nation scored a paltry 21.44 compared to the China leading the chart with 151.91.Although, Nigeria recorded a slight improvement from 20.50 scored last year. The data showed that the nation recorded the highest score in 2015 to peak 25.34 in the last 13 years.

In Africa, Morocco (58.19), South Africa (38.58), Togo (29.00) and Angola with 25.86 are ahead of Nigeria in the connectivity index.The UNCTAD’s liner shipping connectivity index (LSCI) covers 178 countries and shows maritime connectivity trends from 2006 to 2019. It is calculated from data on the world’s container ship deployment and released annually.

The report, obtained by The Guardian showed that five of the top 10 best connected economies in 2019 are in Asia, with Hong Kong China, Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia, leading with a score of more than 100 each.

The connectivity index is showing countries that have improved or worsened their positions in maritime transport networks.UNCTAD’s chief of trade logistics, Jan Hoffmann, said: “A country’s position in the global container shipping network – its connectivity – is an important determinant of its trade costs and competitiveness,”

At the other end of the table, small islands developing states (SIDS) have hardly seen any improvement, meaning trade in shipped goods remains problematic in those countries, with knock-on economic effects.“We observe a ‘connectivity divide’ a growing difference between the best and worst connected countries,” Hoffmann said.

He however noted that: “Counting on a direct regular shipping connection has empirically been shown to help reduce trade costs and increase trade volumes,”

Research shows that the absence of a direct connection is associated with a 42 per cent lower value of bilateral exports.The other five components of the index remain unchanged – the number of companies that provide shipping services, the number of services, the number of ships that call per month, the total deployed container-carrying capacity, and the size of the largest vessel.Countries that have maintained the leading position in the 10 years includes; Niet Nam, Poland, China, Republic of Korea, Greece, Qatar, Croatia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Singapore.


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