Latvia and Poland flagged fleets star in 2021 shipping

Last week European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) published a report about the impact the pandemic have had on shipping so far. The on-going global outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having an impact on global shipping, affecting all shipping sectors from passenger ships to container ships and oil tankers.

Many countries have responded to the pandemic by imposing lockdowns or restricting movement. The European Union is responding to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its consequences by adopting a wide range of measures in many areas (health, economy, research, border, mobility, etc.). Since the start of the COVID19 crisis, the Commission, the Member States and the shipping industry have been taking measures to ensure the continuity of operations and thus the security of supply.

Coronavirus is an ongoing situation that is evolving day by day and the effects could be deep and long-term. What
shipping will look like post COVID-19 is unclear; however, EMSA has the necessary data and tools to analyse the
impact of the pandemic on certain shipping activities by analysing vessel traffic data and providing reliable figures
to assist in the definition of the recovery policies and specific measures. These figures should assist all parties
involved (EU, maritime administrations and shipping industry) in determining a recovery strategy.

With international transport at the forefront of trade and dependent on travel and human interaction, the shipping
industry has been impacted both directly and indirectly from the outbreak of COVID-19.

By analysing ship calls at EU ports it was found that the number of ships calls at EU ports declined by 10% in the
2020 compared to 2019. The number of ships calls in December 2021 increased by 11% compared to the same
month in 2019. The most significantly affected sectors have been the Cruise ships, Refrigerated cargo ships and
Vehicle carriers. The most affected countries are Croatia and Norway.

The total number of calls (at all ports in the world) by vessels flying the flags of EU Member States (UK
excluded) in 2020 decreased by 3.5% in comparison to 2019; similarly, the related total gross tonnage decreased
by 11.1%. In particular, a significant decrease started in mid-March 2020, as an impact of the COVID-19 outbreak
escalation across Europe that obliged many EU Member States to put in place lockdown measures. From August
2020, however, this trend appeared more stable, alternating small positive and negative monthly variations.
In December of 2021, there is an increase of the number of port calls with a positive 16.9% variation to the
2019 values and a small decrease of -5.9% of the total gross tonnage calling.

In 2021, most of EU-MS flagged fleets increased their number of port calls compared with 2019 and some of them with very significant increases. There are very significant increases for Latvia and Poland and in the overall of the year 2021, there is to note the increase of calls from Norway flagged ships with +24%.

In 2020, the ship traffic from Europe to China and the US has declined when compared to same periods
in 2019. In 2021 the traffic to and from China is still below the 2019 values even though increasing above the
values from 2020. However, in the traffic with the US, in particular the exports from the EU have recovered and
increased to values above pre-pandemic since March 2021, while the imports from the US are now reaching the
pre-pandemic values.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to roll, ports have faced an unprecedented number of vessels at anchor and
vessels queue up waiting for a spot to unload cargo. Since the beginning of 2020 and especially since week 13
(23-29 March 2020) there is an increase number of ships “at anchor” in comparison with 2019.

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