Growth in maritime trade is set to slow significantly over the next four years as impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and high freight rates take their toll, according to a forecasts contained in a United Nations' trade body report.

The pandemic's impact on maritime trade volumes was less severe than initially expected in 2020 but its effects will be far-reaching and could transform seaborne transport for years, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Review of Maritime Transport 2021 report projected.