Container ships connect consumers and producers across global markets and are seen by the World Bank and the UN as a significant development factor. While there are some countries that are located too far away from global shipping routes to score any noteworthy points on the organizations’ Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, there are also major differences in the development of shipping industries and harbor infrastructure among those who would like to get their slice of the global shipping pie.
Among the later is India, who was just quite publicly snubbed by the world’s largest ship despite flanking its route from Shanghai to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and back. As Bloomberg reports, the Ever Alot - operated by Taiwan’s Evergreen Shipping – docked in Sri Lanka instead as Indian harbors were deemed too small. Shipping tycoon Gautam Adani said that his port at Mundra in Gujarat would handle the ship, but was also skipped.
The World Bank index shows that Sri Lanka is in fact giving India a run for its money when it comes to the development of its shipping industry and infrastructure. The small country ranks at 70.7 points, almost as much as the United Arab Emirates. India only scores 58.9 points, behind Turkey as well as Egypt, Thailand and Morocco. The country’s ambitions to boost factory activity and export trade could be held back by these infrastructure woes, according to the report.
China was the highest scorer in the ranking, followed by South Korea, Singapore and the United States. In Europe, the Netherlands received the highest rank ahead of Spain and the United Kingdom. South America was one of the weakest continents for shipping connectivity, with Panama and Colombia scoring around 50 points and Brazil falling short of 40.