The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ASD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement have emphasized the need for all economic sectors, including maritime transport to monitor and measure performance and track progress towards the achievement of relevant economic, social and environmental targets.
Indicators measuring the performance of the maritime transport sector with multidimensional metrics spanning a range of factors (e.g. efficiency, cost-effectiveness, productivity, profitability, connectivity, access, social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability) are increasingly recognized as critical for maritime business and its users, as well as for governments and policy makers.
As developing key indicators depends heavily on the availability and the quality of data and statistics, addressing existing maritime transport data gaps requires investing in acquiring, compiling, making available and managing relevant data.
Against this background the UNCTAD secretariat is convening an ad hoc expert meeting on “Measuring Shipping Connectivity and Performance: The Need for Statistics and Data”.
The meeting will bring together experts from varied backgrounds to discuss the role of data in supporting performance-based approaches in maritime transport and explore ways in which existing data limitations can be effectively addressed to support improved and sustainable planning and management of maritime transport activity as well as promote evidence-based maritime transport policy making.
In addition to the 2030 ASD and SDGs, discussions will bear in mind the growing demand for data, metrics and performance measures, resulting from:
- The focus in 2017 on physical and transport connectivity as a lead indicator of trade and economic integration (e.g. WTO Aid for Trade Review, work on air connectivity under the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Air Transport Association, the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance Initiative, the International Transport Forum Summit 2017, and the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2017).
- The potential for Big Data to generate critical maritime transport data.
Relevant issues to be considered include, inter alia:
- Identifying current data requirements in maritime transport
- Improving understanding of the complex statistical aspects of developing performance measures in maritime transport
- Exploring the challenges associated with organizing, integrating and analyzing data in maritime transport
- Sharing good practice and experiences in the use of data to measure performance including in terms of connectivity, access, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability
- Considering the potential for Big Data to generate critical maritime transport data
- Engaging with relevant data providers and considering areas of potential partnership and cooperation