DNV GL: China Ranks Top Among Shipping Nations

The automated Shanghai Yangshan Phase 4 port complex (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 09-05-2018 04:55:26

On Wednesday, DNV GL and consulting group Menon Economics released a new study of the world's top-30 maritime nations, and they have listed China at the very top. The report examines four "pillars" of each nation's maritime economy - ports and logistics, maritime technology, finance and law, and shipping - and China's performance is robust all segments. 

“The strength of China is overwhelming, particularly on the pillar of ports and logistics, but also in shipping,” said Erik W. Jakobsen, a managing partner at Menon Economics and a co-author of the report. “It should not surprise us, though, since China is the largest exporting and importing country of the world. The other economic superpower, [the United States], follows China on the ranking, with major ports and maritime cities both on the east and west coast.”

DNV GL and Menon Economics released the report at the SMM 2018 trade fair in Hamburg. It follows up a 2017 report by Menon and DNV GL on the “Leading Maritime Capitals of the World," but it shifts the focus to a broader review of the maritime industry at the national level. 

As the shipping sector is the main engine of the industry, it was given a 40 percent weight. This "pillar" was assessed based on each nation's domestically-managed fleet size, owned fleet size, owned fleet value and flag registry size by CGT. The other three sector categories were given a 20 percent weight each.

The United States placed second overall, scoring high on finance & law thanks to its admiralty system, its bond markets, its large number of IPOs and its array of private equity firms.  

The U.S. was followed by Japan in third place, and Germany, Norway and South Korea shared fourth place. Germany landed a top-five spot on three "pillars," and Norway has a strong position in finance & law and maritime technology. South Korea scored top in maritime technology thanks to its shipyards and its maritime R&D sector, and it is among the top-10 in shipping and ports & logistics. 

In descending order of rank, the rest of the top-30 included: Greece, the UK, Singapore, France and Italy (tie), the Netherlands, Denmark, the UAE, Malaysia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Taiwan, Finland, Switzerland, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

"For the top three maritime nations, the study’s rankings mirror the size of their national economies,” says Shahrin Osman, Regional Head of Maritime Advisory for South East Asia, Pacific and India at DNV GL Maritime, who co-authored both the 2017 and 2018 reports. “[But] we can see that ‘smaller’ countries can still have an outsize influence and importance to the maritime world, due to their traditions, history and innovations."