Philippines tops the charts for monthly shipbuilding receipts for first time

Manila: Available slots and a growing diverse range of products on offer have propelled the Philippines to the top of the global shipbuilding leaderboard for the first time. The Southeast Asian archipelago beat South Korea into top spot for order intakes for April, according to Clarkson Research.

The Philippine yards won newbuildings of 590,000 cgt, followed by Korea with 530,000 cgt, China taking 290,000 cgt and Japan grabbing 150,000 cgt of orders last month.

Seven Seaspan and one Costamare 11,000 teu boxship orders at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction’s yard in Subic Bay was the clincher for the Philippine results last month. Moreover, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding’s Cebu-based shipyard Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) was also awarded six bulkers during the same period.

Commenting on the Philippines’ rise as a global force in shipbuilding, Matthew Flynn, managing director of online shipbuilding database,, told Splash: “In an unusual turn of maritime economics, the Philippines tops the charts for monthly shipbuilding receipts. This is also likely the first time ever that a country that has no direct container calls has ever won an order for large containerships. Also it is a real triumph for a country without a domestic steelmaking capacity. It is a tribute to the Filipino work ethic.”

The Philippines shipbuilding sector is made up predominantly of East Asian shipbuilders creating local subsidiaries. It is an industry that the current Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, has identified as one to focus on growth.

Also noteworthy from the April Clarkson figures was China’s lacklustre performance – the first month that the People’s Republic has taken in orders of less than 300,000 cgt since May 2009.

From January to April this year, global yards won newbuildings of 8.15m cgt, down by 58.3% from 19.55m cgt seen during the same period a year ago, something that should help get shipping’s supply/demand equilibrium more back in line.


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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