Sun | Dec 3, 2023

New CRI report tackles shipping instability

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2022 | 12:06 AM
The upcoming Caribbean Research Institute report will focus on the Caribbean and consider events in neighbouring regions and the world.
The upcoming Caribbean Research Institute report will focus on the Caribbean and consider events in neighbouring regions and the world.

The third report on the state of Caribbean trade, maritime transport and ports by the Caribbean Research Institute (CRI) will be available in mid-October.

The upcoming report, which describes the economic horizon as “cloudy”, points to the numerous shocks and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect the industry and redefine the lives of people across the world.

The research, which was led by renowned economist Dr Ricardo Sanchez, will provide an overview on the progress and setbacks of key economic and fiscal indicators; a review of international trade; the behaviour of the supply chain and shipping liner services; and an analysis of freight rate performances.

In highlighting the effects of the pandemic, CSA General Manager Milaika Capella Ras, in her foreword, regards it as a “real tragedy for the world”, noting its impact from a range of perspectives, including health, economic, social and family. “Moreover, we can now say that it was not ‘a single pandemic’, but the sequence of its many strains, with varied impacts in space, and sustained in time, for more than two years.” Capella Ras continued, “As far as the effects associated with the pandemic go, there were macroeconomic disturbances, trade was affected to varying degrees, and tourism even more so, among others.

“Unfortunately, these shocks were followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which had its own set of global effects and added uncertainty and unpredictability to the world’s situation.”

The CRI report builds on the first which was published at the end of 2019 to increase focus on the Caribbean and consider events in neighbouring regions and the world.

The uncertainty related to the shipping industry, and the global economy is placed under the microscope as the report assesses the pandemic impact over the past two and a half years, with improved graphics to reduce its length.

Among the factors noted for contributing to the existing uncertainty and volatility are global shocks, especially health emergencies, including successive COVID-19 strains; macroeconomic turmoil; rising energy prices; and the resulting problems in international trade.

“Analysing the current situation, in the world and in the region, presents a high complexity, due to the interaction of various factors. For this reason, this report has been built on the basis of presenting a general scheme that allows understanding the complexity of the economic panorama, and throughout it, information is presented that complements the general analysis,” the report states.

Providing a thorough examination of these issues, the CRI also found that the global supply chain, which has not fully recovered from the COVID-19 effects, shows persistent problems, some of which are holdovers from the pandemic. These include blockades in China, and port bottlenecks and congestions.

“In addition to the supply chain issues inherited from the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine added a major source of disruption to the supply of energy and agricultural products, which in turn are key drivers of inflation.

“At the global level, novel challenges have arisen as a result of COVID-19 and other global factors related to economic and social issues. However, the war in Ukraine imposed a new external shock. Social and economic indicators have shown the impact of the global shocks, including others related to an increasing poverty and unemployment and to food security, among others,” it revealed, noting that the Caribbean region has suffered similar impacts.

The CRI, an initiative by the Caribbean Shipping Association, provides quarterly reports to its members and stakeholders within the maritime sector to provide objective and analysed information that can improve decision-making throughout the region. The CRI was launched in 2021 to provide accurate and timely, specialised data and assessments for maritime interests in the region.

Organisations and individuals interested in obtaining the CRI report may contact