UK-registered fleet continues to decline

London: The number of UK-registered ships is currently at its lowest level since 2006, according to figures from the UK’s Department of Transport (DfT).

The UK fell from 16th to 20th place in the list of the world’s largest ship registries in 2014, decreasing by 17% in terms of deadweight tonnage on its 2013 level. The UK’s share of the world fleet has contracted from around 1.3% in 2009 to 0.8% in 2014.

Panama remained the world’s biggest registry in 2014 although its deadweight tonnage dropped by 1% year-on-year. The Liberian-registered fleet showed little change in size and is still ranked in second place. The Marshall Islands saw the biggest increase in the deadweight tonnage of registered vessels over the year (7%).

UK-registered deadweight tonnage has decreased by 27% since 2009 to 12.6m dwt today. The number of vessels in the registered fleet has fallen by 36%, from 712 vessels in 2009 to 453 last year.

In comparison, the combined deadweight tonnage of the world fleet has grew by 34% to 1.67m dwt since 2009.

The number of UK-registered ships has fallen by 27% and the number of UK-managed ships has fallen by 16% since 2009.

Nevertheless, the DfT’s figures show that the UK-registered fleet tonnage is over four times more than the 2.7m dwt registered in the late 1990s. Over the same period, UK direct-owned tonnage has more than doubled, from 7.2m dwt to 16.5m dwt.

Container vessels comprise over 60% of UK-registered deadweight tonnage today; oil or oil/chemical tankers account for 18% and bulk carriers 11%.

The UK direct-owned deadweight tonnage is comprised of 35% containerships; 33% bulk carriers, 13% gas tankers and around 10% oil and oil/chemical tankers.






Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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