• 2015 October 15 12:01

    The world’s commercial shipping fleet grew at lowest rate in 10 years in 2014 – new UNCTAD data

    ​The world’s commercial fleet grew by 3.5 per cent during the 12 months to 1 January 2015, the lowest annual growth rate in over a decade, the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 20151 reveals. At the beginning of the year, the fleet totalled 89,464 vessels, with overall 1.75 million in deadweight tonnage.

    Despite its economic troubles, Greece remained the leading ship-owning country, with Greek companies accounting for more than 16 per cent of the world industry, followed by companies from Japan, China, Germany and Singapore. Together, the top five ship-owning countries control more than half of the world deadweight tonnage. Five of the top 10 ship-owning countries are from Asia, four from Europe and one – the United States of America – from continental America.

    Over the last decade, China, Hong Kong (China), the Republic of Korea and Singapore have moved up in the ranking of largest ship-owning countries, while Germany, Norway and the United States have a lower market share today than in 2005. In South America, the largest ship-owning country (in deadweight tonnage) continues to be Brazil, followed by Mexico, Chile and Argentina. The African country with the largest fleet ownership is Angola, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.

    China ranked highest on the UNCTAD Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, which provides an indicator of a coastal country’s access to the global liner shipping network (the network of regular maritime transport services for containerized cargo). China was followed by Singapore, Hong Kong (China), the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Germany.

    The best-connected countries in Africa are Morocco, Egypt and South Africa, reflecting their positions at the corners of the continent. In Latin America, Panama ranks highest on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, benefiting from the Panama Canal and from being at the crossroads of main East–West and North–South routes, followed by Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. The 10 economies that rank lowest on the Index are all island States, reflecting their low-trade volumes and remoteness.

    Data on fleet deployment illustrate the process of concentration in liner shipping, which has seen the recent mergers of Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores and Hapag Lloyd, and Compañía Chilena de Navegación Interoceánica and Hamburg Süd. While the container-carrying capacity per provider for each country tripled between 2004 and 2015, the average number of companies that provide services to each country’s ports decreased by 29 per cent (see figure).

    Both trends illustrate two sides of the same coin: as ships get bigger and companies aim at achieving economies of scale, there remain fewer companies in individual markets. The Review of Maritime Transport 2015 says that it will be a challenge for policymakers to support technological advances and cost savings, for example through economies of scale, yet at the same time ensure a sufficiently competitive environment so that cost savings are effectively passed on to the clients, that is, importers and exporters.

    At the beginning of 2015, the report reveals, the top 10 liner shipping companies operated more than 61 per cent of the global container fleet, and the top 20 controlled 83 per cent of all container-carrying capacity. Together, the three largest companies have a share of almost 35 per cent of the world total.

    All companies with vessels on the order book are investing in larger vessels, with the average vessel size being larger than the current average container-carrying capacity. This attempt to realize economies of scale increases the risk of oversupply, UNCTAD notes.

    The average vessel size for all new vessels on order by the top 15 companies is above 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, which is double the current average size of vessels in the existing fleet of each company. Only very few companies outside the top 20 carriers have placed any new orders and these orders are for far smaller vessel sizes.

    Rates of tonnage added to the global fleet continued to decline in absolute terms compared to previous years. The report notes, however, that the overall growth rate of tonnage remained above indicators such as that of global gross domestic product and trade growth, and slightly higher than that of the growth of seaborne trade (3.4 per cent in 2014).

    The Review of Maritime Transport 2015 says that total tonnage delivered in 2014 was only slightly more than half the tonnage delivered in the peak year of the historically largest shipbuilding cycle in 2011. The report explains that because several years pass between the placement of an order for a new ship and its delivery, ships are often ordered when the market is perceived as strong, only to be delivered years later, when the market may have become weaker.

    As the report explains, tonnage delivered in 2014 had been ordered in some cases as long ago as 2008. While this oversupply may not be good news for shipowners, UNCTAD argues that it is a positive development for the revival of global trade because there is no shortage of carrying capacity and the cost of trade continues to decline in the long term.

    In addition, the report reveals that, for the first time since the peak of the shipbuilding cycle, the average age of the world fleet increased slightly in 2014. The delivery of fewer new ships, combined with reduced scrapping activity, means that newer tonnage no longer compensates for the natural aging of the fleet.


2024 February 24

15:17 CMA CGM announces RRI03 from North Europe & the Mediterranean to/via USA, Canada & Mexico
14:31 Hanwha Ocean seals $256 million deal to build VLCC pair
12:38 New cable layer joins Boskalis fleet following major conversion
10:33 Port of Rotterdam adopts Green Award verification for new EU shipping sustainability incentives
09:57 MPA selected 11 proposals to advance electric harbour craft designs in Singapore

2024 February 23

15:57 Vitol and EOG Resources enter into long-term gas supply agreement indexed to Brent pricing
13:47 PortNews’ top headlines, Jan 19-26
12:06 BOEM approves construction and operations plan for empire wind’s offshore wind project
10:40 Clear early policy decisions needed to prevent the UK's energy transition stalling, says DNV

2024 February 22

18:04 United Maritime Corporation expands fleet with new bulk carrier
17:42 Euroseas reports Q4 and FY 2023 results
17:16 Scrubber savings up to 13 bln USD amid IMO2020 regulations implementation
16:14 HD Korea Shipbuilding secures 172.4 bln-won order for two LPG carriers
15:51 Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund allocates EUR 1 mln to 10 new environmental projects
15:24 The first Norsepower Rotor Sail funded by German Government to be fitted on Baltrader’s new cement carrier
14:45 HD Hyundai Marine Solution bags deal for LNG carrier re-liquefaction
14:13 Eastern Pacific Shipping partners with bound4blue for first wind-assisted propulsion system installation
13:42 Baker Hughes lands multi-year well construction services contract with Petrobras
13:32 MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 08, 2024
13:20 Unifeeder launches new direct service linking Aruba and Curaçao with Colombia
12:43 The use of Nextlogic at the Port of Rotterdam leads to a 20% reduction in port waiting times
12:21 Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of first biofuel barge in Asia
11:43 Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition
10:58 Liberian bulk carrier banned from Australian ports
07:39 Container shipper HMM receives an A- score from Carbon Disclosure Project

2024 February 21

18:00 SBM Offshore receives ExxonMobil Ruby Supplier Award for offshore operations
17:25 ZeroNorth and Alpha Ori Technologies close deal to form a new company
17:06 SeaLead and Blue Water Line launch Gulf India Express service
16:34 Auramarine signs agreement with Yiu Lian Dockyards and Guangzhou Jihai Shipping Material for the implementation and uptake of methanol dual fuel systems
16:12 VARO and Orim Energy to scale-up sustainable shipping fuel capabilities
15:34 Biden to sign executive order on US port cybersecurity
15:11 EDGE Group and Fincantieri form joint venture
14:57 Allseas completes infield pipelay scope for BP's GTA LNG project offshore Mauritania and Senegal
14:11 BYD to expand fleet with seven new car carriers by 2025
13:47 Hanwha Ocean sales jumped 52.4 percent on-year to 7.4 trillion won in 2023
13:24 Cavotec signs two-year service agreement with APM Terminals at Port of Tanger Med
12:19 Russian grain exports exceeded 66 million tonnes worth almost $16.5 billion in 2023
11:07 Gasunie and Storag sign agreement for large-scale hydrogen storage in Germany
10:58 Dual-fuel methanol design of offshore wind turbine installation vessel from Yantai receives ABS approval
10:29 NYK places first order with Japanese shipyard for offshore wind industry crew transfer vessel

2024 February 20

18:07 Armada Technologies announces contract with CoolCo for a hull air lubrication installation
17:40 AIDA Cruises launches the largest modernization program in its fleet
17:24 ROVOP partners with Boskalis to deliver integrated subsea solutions throughout the energy industry
16:35 Port of Rotterdam total cargo throughput down 6.1% to 438.8 million tonnes in 2023
15:36 EST-Floattech secures a €4 million investment from 5 investors
15:14 South Korea strengthens export restrictions on Russia and Belarus
14:41 Glander International Bunkering and Asyad Shipping partner for AI-driven sustainable shipping solutions
14:12 Danaos adds two methanol-ready container ships to fleet
13:58 Some stranded Russian Sokol oil cargoes begin to move to China, India
13:35 HD Korea Shipbuilding wins 322.8 bln-won order for 2 ammonia carriers
12:43 RINA approves performance prediction software for wind-assisted ships
10:55 Forth Ports orders two new pilot boats
10:29 HHLA's revenue fell by 8.3 percent to €1,447 million in 2023
09:45 Etihad Credit Insurance partners with DP World Trade Finance
07:51 CMA CGM announces PSS adjustments for shipments from Europe to India, Middle East Gulf, and Red Sea

2024 February 19

18:06 SafeΒulkers adds two more carriers
17:42 Piraeus Port shows resilience to the Red Sea crisis
17:23 Valenciaport container traffic up 11% to 388,366 TEU in Jan 2023
16:47 Sticky situation in UK port after grounded Ukrainian tanker leaked molasses
16:28 EU foreign ministers approve deployment of Red Sea naval mission
15:58 Eidesvik Offshore launches world’s first methanol-powered vessel for subsea and offshore wind
15:39 Equinor signs a 15-year LNG agreement with Deepak Fertilisers
14:23 Jumbo Offshore signs MoU with Sea Horizon Offshore
13:40 Texas LNG selects Gulf LNG Tugs to build, deliver and operate tugboats
13:38 Russian seaports’ January cargo volume fell 6.5% Y/Y to 71 million tonnes (expanded version)
13:22 Austal and Gotlandsbolaget sign MOU to construct a gas turbine powered high speed catamaran
12:56 Tellurian receives FERC extension for Driftwood LNG
12:01 Unifeeder completes agreement for two additional methanol-powered vessels
11:38 Chemship deploys wind assisted propulsion on Chemical Challenger
11:18 Topsoe signs an engineering agreement with Approtium to convert low-carbon ammonia into hydrogen using its H2RETAKETM technology