China is the
top international shipping nation according to a new report presented by DNV GL
and Menon Economics at SMM trade fair in Hamburg on September 5.
The study, entitled “The Leading Maritime Nations of the World”,
benchmarks the 30 leading maritime nations around the world in four key
maritime pillars: shipping, finance and law, maritime technology and ports
& logistics, in an attempt to understand the key drivers behind national
The new report follows up the 2017 report by Menon and DNV GL on
the “Leading Maritime Capitals of the World” but shifts the focus to an
extensive review of the maritime industry at the national level.
As explained, the 30 nations were ranked by size and magnitude on all
four key maritime pillars and their subgroups. As the shipping sector is the
main engine of the entire maritime industry, more weight was given to the
The 2018 report ranks China as the world’s leading maritime
nation, due to its top four ranking in all of the maritime pillars. China’s
position is particularly strong on the ports and logistics pillar, with the
world’s largest container and bulk ports.
“The strength of China is
overwhelming, particularly on the pillar of ports and logistics, but also in
shipping,” Erik W. Jakobsen, Managing
Partner in Menon Economics and co-author of the report, said.
“It should not surprise us,
though, since China is the largest exporting and importing country of the
world. The other economic superpower, USA, follows China on the ranking, with
major ports and maritime cities both on the east and west coast,” he added.
The USA is placed second, scoring high on all four dimensions,
followed by Japan. Germany, Norway and South Korea, share the fourth place. Germany’s
strength lies in its consistency, with a top five spot in three categories,
whereas Norway has its strongest position within maritime finance & law and
maritime technology. South Korea scores top in maritime technology and is among
the top 10 in shipping and ports & logistics.
“For the top 3 maritime nations,
the study’s rankings mirror the size of their national economies,”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, commented.
“Interestingly however, in the
joint fourth position of Norway, South Korea, and Greece in the 7th position,
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,” he further said.