Source: UNCTAD.
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Liner Shipping Connectivity Index and Container Port Throughput
The Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) aims at capturing a country's level of integration into the existing liner shipping network by measuring liner shipping connectivity. LSCI can be considered a proxy of the accessibility to global trade. The higher the index, the easier it is to access a high capacity and frequency global maritime freight transport system and thus effectively participate to international trade. Therefore, LSCI can be jointly considered as a measure of connectivity to maritime shipping and as a measure of trade facilitation. It reflects the strategies of container shipping lines seeking to maximize revenue through market coverage. The index is calculated based on four major components:
  • Containership deployment (and deployment per capita). Concerns the number of ships that are calling the ports of a country. These calls can either involve imports, exports or transshipment activities. In the case of a high level of transshipment calls, the number of ship calls can be somewhat misleading as those calls are not related to the connectivity of the country to the global trade system, but the presence of a transshipment hub. Still, the maritime services remain available for importers and exporters. This figure is also normalized per capita since countries with larger populations are likely to get more calls than countries with smaller populations.
  • Container carrying capacity (and capacity per capita). The previous measure is mainly linked with frequency of service while adding the total capacity of these services enables to link port calls with the related physical capacity. The higher the capacity, the greater the potential to trade on global markets. However, it does not necessarily mean that the capacity is available for imports or exports. Again, this figure is also normalized per capita.
  • Number of shipping companies, liner services and vessels per company. Relates to how many shipping companies are servicing the country as well as how many scheduled services they are using to support this coverage.
  • Average and maximum vessel size. Is a proxy to the available economies of scale since they convey lower shipping costs per TEU. A limited number of countries / ports is able to accommodate ships higher than 8,000 TEU. Those who can thus have a higher connectivity.
The countries that have the highest LSCI values are actively involved in trade. Namely, the export-oriented economies of China and Hong Kong rank first, with the Singapore transshipment hub ranking third. Large traders such as the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, the United States and Japan rank among the top 15. Countries such as Malaysia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Oman also rank high because of the major transshipment function their ports perform.