AsiaEuropeGreater China

London slips behind Hong Kong in latest shipping hub poll

Asia’s relentless climb up the charts of shipping’s corridors of power has been highlighted once again with the launch today of the fifth annual Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index Report. Launched at an event in Shanghai, the index sees Singapore retain top billing, while Hong Kong has overhauled London for the first time into second spot and Busan from South Korea elbows Athens out of the top 10 shipping cities.

The index system includes three primary indicators and 18 secondary indicators. The primary indicators look at port conditions, shipping services and government action towards shipping. Unsurprisingly given the Shanghai launch, the use of China’s state news agency Xinhua and the predominance of Chinese authors and researchers behind the 115-page report, the weighting of the index does appear to favour the People’s Republic. Nevertheless, London being usurped by Hong Kong into second spot on the index will set alarm bells ringing among UK institutions such as Maritime London.

“Half of the location in the top 10 of the report are in the Asia Pacific. We are witnessing a change in the structure of the maritime market place,” Chris Jones, Asia-Pacific director for the Baltic Exchange told Splash today. “More ships are not only built in the east, they are owned in the east and are moving Asia controlled cargoes and chartering decisions, which were once being taken in Europe, are now being made in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.”

In a note to readers towards the back of the report, Mark Jackson, chief executive of the Baltic Exchange, wrote: “We hope that this report helps shape shipping company executives’ thinking and spurs cities and their governments to provide the best support possible. A successful shipping centre is after all a successful global city.”

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.


  1. This doesn’t sound like a great indicator, although points valid…

    Sometimes it doesn’t sound like the Splash editorial really have their critical glasses on when conveying these news (or writing headlines)

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