Greater China

New report claims China is the leading maritime nation in the world

Menon Economics and DNV GL have announced that China is the top international shipping nation according to their new report, published at SMM in Hamburg this week. The Leading Maritime Nations of the World is a study that benchmarks the 30 leading maritime nations around the world in four key maritime pillars: shipping, finance and law, maritime technology and ports and logistics, in an attempt to understand the key drivers behind national maritime success.

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. 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 shipping sector.

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 was viewed as 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,” said Erik Jakobsen, managing partner at Menon Economics and 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, USA, follows China on the ranking, with major ports and maritime cities both on the east and west coast.”

The US is placed second, scoring high on all four dimensions, followed by Japan. Germany, Norway and South Korea, share the 4th 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 and Law and maritime technology. South Korea scores top in maritime technology and is among the top 10 in shipping and ports and logistics.

“For the top three maritime nations, the study’s rankings mirror the size of their national economies,” said Shahrin Osman from DNV GL Maritime, who co-authored both the 2017 and 2018 reports. “Interestingly however, in the joint fourth position of Norway, South Korea, and Greece in the seventh 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. We hope that this report will be a valuable resource for national maritime authorities or governmental ministries, serving as an inspiration, a benchmark, and demonstrating a development path to leadership in the shipping world.”

Splash readers can access the full report by clicking here.


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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