International seaborne trade contracted by 4.5 per cent in 2009, reports UNCTADÂ´s Review of Maritime Transport 2010 . That decline put seaborne trade at below 2007 levels. It had climbed to an all-time high in 2008.
The Review of Maritime Transport 2010 estimates total seaborne trade during 2009 at 7.84 billion tons. Although a global recovery is currently under way, it is uneven, slower than the recoveries that have followed previous recessions, and subject to numerous uncertainties and to the fragile global economic conditions, the study says. Signs show that the shipping industry and seaborne trade are recovering, but it will likely take some time for the industry to return to its 2009 levels.