The Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE) has launched new Belt and Road shipping indices to track freight trade data among countries involved in the massive transcontinental infrastructure endeavour.
The indices include a Belt and Road trade index, a Belt and Road freight volume index, and a Maritime Silk Road freight index.
At a seminar at Nor-Shipping in Oslo last month the chairman of BW Group Andreas Sohmen-Pao said the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative could be a massive bonus for shipping.
Sohmen-Pao said OBOR covers an area that constitutes two thirds of the world’s population and around one third of world GDP.
The BW chairman said that in the last two years China had signed 26 trade agreements, creating 56 new economic trading zones in 21 nations, figures he said were likely to double within a couple of years.
Tom Miller, author of the just published China’s Asian Dream: Empire Building along the New Silk Road, also believes shipping will benefit enormously from OBOR despite increased spending on rail freight infrastructure.
“I don’t see a big shift to overland freight,” Miller told this site earlier this year. “Conventional shipping is cheaper and most consumer goods do not need to be delivered in two weeks. The volumes will grow as more rail routes and services are added, but it’s not realistic to expect overland freight to account for more than few percent of overall freight volumes.”