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Impact of COVID-19: and maritime transport in all this?

Reading time : 2 minutes

The coronavirus pandemic has largely slowed down the activity of the sector, in addition to creating more than problematic situations for thousands of sailors ...

The COVID-19 pandemic, and especially the measures adopted by governments to contain its spread, affects the economy world almost in its entirety. But Ithere are sectors to which we think less. This is the case with maritime trade.

A recovery (uncertain) 2021  

Le secteur pourrait record a 4,1% drop in activity in 2020 at the International scale, mainly due to a drop in demand. And all sub-areas are involved: ports, transport networks and supply chains.  

This is the estimate issued in sound November 12 report by la UNCTAD (Conference of Nations uon trade and development), dependent body of the United Nations, which turns out to be rather pessimistic about the health of the sectorBecause, according to her, the toll could grow even worse si new waves of infection to SARS-CoV-2 presented themselvesEt the report does not take into account the latest containment measures adopted ... 

So what about the recovery? Uncertainty looms, but the instance shows itself, this time, relatively optimistic. Un a return to positive growth could thus occur from 2021UNCTAD forecasts an increase of 4,8 % of the activity next year. 2019 level would be then found in 2022.  

The need to engage green transitions and digital 

However, a change in the sector seems inevitable. The context of health and economic crisis has initiated a strengthening of health protocols, changes in operational procedures, but also finances, etc. But a crucial issue is a sustainable recovery. 

Pour the UNCTADthe risk There are that crisis evade the question of ecological transition There are and you have to be careful« The pandemic must not overshadow measures to combat climate change in maritime transport. Therefore, post-Covid-19 recovery policies must allow further progress towards green and sustainable solutions », Thus affirms Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director of Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD.  

To promote this transition, several measures should be considered. This involves, for example, favoring non-fossil fuels to reduce shows of greenhouse gases, malso to limit the environmental impact by initiating the digital transition. 

Last but not the least: the situation of sailors. 300 maritime workers would have been stranded at sea after the end of their contract due to of COVID-19. UNCTAD therefore urges governments to review thee status of the sailors so that they receive the qualification of "essential workers", Ce which will allow them to be exempteds travel restrictions.  

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