ClassNK close to returning to the top

Japan’s ClassNK, also known by its full name, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, is closing back in on the top spot in the ship classification rankings, a position it relinquished seven years ago when Norway’s Det Norske Veritas merged with Hamburg-based Germanischer Lloyd to create the current world leader, DNV GL.

Latest data contained in the September edition of the Clarksons Research World Fleet Monitor, published yesterday, shows ClassNK is the biggest gainer among the members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) this year with DNV GL seeing the largest reversals in terms of classed fleet size.

ClassNK’s fleet has grown by more than 7m gt year-on-year while DNV GL’s has slid by nearly 4m gt, according to Clarksons with the two societies almost neck and neck in size with a sizeable gap to ABS in third place.

Japanese owners, which still form the bedrock of the ClassNK fleet, have received more newbuilds than any other nationality over the last 12 months, Claksons data shows. Moreover, their orderbook still to deliver is second only to China, suggesting the gap with DNV GL will close further in the coming months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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