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Navigating through the coronavirus crisis and uncertainty: How maritime transport data can help

Official statistics on gross domestic product (GDP) and trade growth are produced with delay, gaps and time lags. When navigating through crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, access to near real-time data becomes critical for making sound decisions. As a result, economists and policy makers are increasingly relying on alternative high-frequency data that can be used as proxies to estimate wide-raging economic variables. Supported by technological advances, such as automatic identification system (AIS) data, as well as improved data collection techniques and reporting by industry, maritime transport data are becoming an important source of high frequency statistics and market intelligence. These span statistics on port calls, ship sailing speeds, port traffic volumes, shipping schedules, capacity deployed and the time ships spend in port.


The article is available on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) website and by clicking the link below: