Italian Maritime Economy. Ports, routes, freight rates and shipping: mirrors for global change. Sustainability and logistics as key drivers for competitiveness in the Mediterranean

The eighth edition of this report analyses some of the most interesting phenomena affecting the maritime economy, brought to light by the pandemic. Covid-19, in fact, has continued to have an impact on all variables and traffic dynamics, especially with regards to the container sector.  A section of the Report is dedicated to Sustainability, considered to be a pillar on which the world economy will have to focus in the years to come. At the moment, investing in new forms of energy (such as hydrogen and LNG), focusing on everything that leads to zero emissions or the creation of so-called Green Ports, seems to be more of an obligation than a necessity. SRM's analyses look at all this, while making use of essays and in-depth studies elaborated by its national and international partners, such as the Universities of Hamburg and Antwerp and the Shanghai International Shipping Institute.

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The eighth edition of this report analyses some of the most interesting phenomena affecting the maritime economy, brought to light by the pandemic. Covid-19, in fact, has continued to have an impact on all variables and traffic dynamics, especially with regards to the container sector. This research explores one of the first events that marked 2020 and which will continue to occur in the early months of 2021, namely the sharp rise in freight rates that has affected all the main strategic routes, especially involving China-Europe and China-US, where carriers significantly reduced the capacity offered, leading to increases in container transport rates. The Report also deals with the trend of the Suez Canal which, despite the difficult period, has continued to operate with significant traffic, showing outstanding resilience of shipping traffic passing through the Mediterranean. However, the Suez focus paper also highlights the event that has impacted the economy of the Canal, i.e. the grounding of the Ever Given, a container ship of over 20,000 TEU that obstructed passage for 6 days, causing considerable inconvenience to the logistics system. Other important phenomena brought about by Covid-19 were port congestion, rising oil prices, blank sailing, the search for alternative routes to Suez such as the Cape of Good Hope. All of these events, although complex, are analysed in these pages providing an overall outlook of the general situation, while also reporting estimates and forecasts of what may happen in the future. A section of the Report is dedicated to Sustainability, considered to be a pillar on which the world economy will have to focus in the years to come. At the moment, investing in new forms of energy (such as hydrogen and LNG), focusing on everything that leads to zero emissions or the creation of so-called Green Ports, seems to be more of an obligation than a necessity. SRM's analyses look at all this, while making use of essays and in-depth studies elaborated by its national and international partners, such as the Universities of Hamburg and Antwerp and the Shanghai International Shipping Institute.

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