In its latest weekly report Clarkson Research Services has highlighted how Asian shipowners have finally overhauled their European peers to become the dominant force in global shipping.
European owners historically held the largest share of the global fleet, owning 44% of gt at the turn of the century, with Asian owners accounting for 32%.
Led by rampant Chinese growth, Asian owners surpassed Europe last year and a glance at the global orderbook suggests the gap will widen in the coming years.
Chinese owners doubled their fleet in the past decade from 111m to 226m gt and are now the second largest of any nationality, holding a 15% global share.
Clarkson data shows Asian owners now represent 43% of global tonnage with 48,472 vessels totalling 637m gt. This surpassed European owners’ 42% share made up of 30,610 vessels totalling 630m gt.
“The shift in tonnage from Europe to Asia looks set to be sustained for some time, with just under half of the global orderbook (79m GT, 49%) due to be delivered to Asia-Pacific owners, compared to 33% for European owners (53m GT),” Clarksons noted.
Asia is dominant in so many other facets of maritime, including ports, shipbuilding and crew supply.