IMF, University of Oxford inaugurate platform to monitor trade disruptions to maritime trade

IMF, University of Oxford inaugurate platform to monitor trade disruptions to maritime trade

By Okeoghene Akubuike
The International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the University of Oxford have inaugurated “PortWatch ” Platform to monitor and simulate trade disruptions to maritime trade due to climate extremes and other shocks.

This is according to a statement by the IMF, a copy obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement said the platform helped policymakers and the public assess the impact of actual and future trade shocks in affected countries as well as international spillover effects.

“PortWatch is a collaborative innovation between the IMF and the University of Oxford.

The open platform is available to the public as a beta version at www.



” Using satellite-based vessel data and big data analytics, the platform will help policymakers, analysts, and other public stakeholders assess the impact of disruptions to maritime trade.

“Users can simulate the potential indirect spillover effects of port disruptions to other countries in the maritime network and global supply chains.

It highlighted key features of the platform to include timely indicators on actual and expected trade disruptions in affected countries; and simulation of international spillover effects from actual and hypothetical disasters.

Another feature included climate scenario analysis facilitating the identification of vulnerabilities within the maritime trade network.

The statement quoted Bert Kroese, IMF Chief Statistician, and Data Officer, as saying “PortWatch aims to provide actionable, data-driven insights about how shocks such as extreme weather events and disasters impact trade and supply chains.

Kroes, also the Director of the Statistics Department, IMF, said the platform’s innovative data sources and visualisation tools were designed to help facilitate international dialogue and inform policy decisions.

The statement quoted Jim Hall, University of Oxford Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, as saying “shocks to trade and supply chains can propagate rapidly around the world.

“This leads to economic disruptions and real impacts on people.

“Using PortWatch we can track shipping disruption at ports and in critical shipping lanes around the world, providing up-to-date information for decision-makers,” he said.

The statement said PortWatch was selected as one of the winners of the 2022 IMF Climate Innovation Challenge, which fosters innovation and collaboration to tackle economic and financial issues related to climate change.

“It is a collaborative project between the IMF and the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

Cutting-edge climate risk analytics from Oxford University researchers were embedded within the platform.

It said the platform was developed in collaboration with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), the United Nations Global Platform (UNGP), the World Bank (WB), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to the statement, the platform has benefitted from seed funding from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

It said the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford was established in 1991.

It aims to organise and promote interdisciplinary research on the nature, causes, and impact of environmental change and to contribute to the development of management strategies for coping with the future environment.




Edited by Vivian Ihechu

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