project . 2015 - 2016 . Closed

Newton Fund: Developing an International Trade and Shipping Database and a Study on Port and Shipping Efficiency

UK Research and Innovation
Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: EP/N002822/1
Funded under: EPSRC Funder Contribution: 60,013 GBP
Status: Closed
01 Jan 2015 (Started) 31 Dec 2016 (Ended)

There is a large body of literature stressing the importance of transport costs and infrastructure in determining trade flows, and by correlation economic development (Clark, Dollar and Micco (2004), Limao and Venables (2001), Martinez-Zarzoso and Suárez-Burguet (2005)). In conjunction with increased trade liberalisation in Brazil (applied tariff rates in 2012 are 25% of 1989 levels), transport costs become the most prominent non-artificial trade barrier associated with Brazil's growth of exports: It costs twice as much to export a container from Brazil compared to OECD countries and nearly twice as much compared to the average Latin American and Caribbean country. It takes 13 days and 6 documents to export a commodity, two days and two documents more than OECD countries. Of these figures, 3 days are allocated to port and terminal handling amounting to a fixed cost of 500 US Dollars per shipment, twice the amount of Germany's port costs. Similar magnitudes apply for importing procedures (World Bank Doing Business (2014)). As more than 80% of Brazil's exports is carried by sea (Ministry of Industry Development and Foreign Trade (2010)) and port efficiency appears to have the largest impact on trade among all indicators of infrastructure (Nordas and Piermartini (2004)), the necessity of improving port infrastructure and reduce shipping costs is inherently linked to development via export growth. This project will see collaboration between UCL and Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro. It intends to quantify the impact of port infrastructure and the cost of shipping on Brazil's exports, proposing responses to ameliorate these costs. Our approach is novel since we are going to combine trade data and information from port authorities with ship's satellite positioning data. This will provide a unique dataset in which we will be able to identify origin and destination of ships, time of each journey, ships' idle time at ports, ship's cargo at port destinations in the USA and the cost of shipping from country of origin to the port of destination in the USA. The project will consist of visits and research exchanges (both UK to Brazil and Brazil to UK) in order to enable sharing of data and resources. This will enable the two research groups to build strong collaborative links and undertake knowledge exchange. This project will deploy the research in a number of stakeholder engagement workshops, attended by representatives from each partner's research groups. The workshops will bring together policy makers, lawyers, shipping operators and other relevant stakeholders to further our understanding of the issues connecting shipping with trade and economic development, and enable us to share the research findings.

Data Management Plans