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An unintended crisis in sea transportation due to COVID-19 restrictions


  • Heiland
  • I.
  • Ulltveit-Moe
  • K.-H.
Publication Date

Almost 80% of trade is carried by sea, so disruptions to sea transport can damage trade flows and disrupt supply chains. As it turns out, COVID-19 containment policies have had unintended consequences. Many key ports have imposed restrictions on vessels and crew including prohibitions that have stopped crew changes. As these changes are essential, shipping has been disrupted. Satellite data for ships shows that sailings to destinations with crew-change restrictions are down by almost 20% for container ships compared to previous years. More flexible regulations based on screening and discretion are needed to ensure the continuity of freight distribution.


JEL Classification

Key Words

  • Corona Virus
  • Foreign Trade
  • international shipping