The tonnage of the world fleet operated by Asian shipowners exceeds Europeans for the first time and reaches 43% of the total, with 48,472 vessels and 637 million GT (MGT), according to data from the most recent Clarksons weekly report. European shipowners account for 42%, with 30,610 ships and 630 million GT. At the beginning of this century, European shipowners controlled 44% (in GT) of the world merchant fleet, while Asians accounted for 32%.
According to the most recent Clarksons weekly report, Chinese shipowners have been key in increasing Asian tonnage. They have doubled their controlled fleet in the last decade, going from 111 million GT to 226 million and becoming the second-largest fleet in the world by nationality of its owners. The Chinese fleet represents 15% of the total world fleet thanks to orders for new-build ships.
For its part, the fleet controlled by Japanese shipowners has grown by 16%, to 177 million GT, which represents a 12% share of the world fleet. In the Japanese case, deliveries of new constructions have been offset by the high level of sales in the second-hand ship trading market. Shipowners from the rest of the Asia-Pacific countries have also increased their fleet, together reaching 16% of the total.
In Europe, Greek shipowners have increased their fleet by 70% in the last 10 years, reaching a total of 246 million GT, which represents 17% of the total world fleet. Greece remains the world’s leading in controlled fleet. These figures have helped maintain Europe’s share of the world fleet despite a sharp drop in the German-owned fleet, which has shrunk sharply since the financial crisis, to 62 million GT, down 34% from 10 years ago. years.
According to figures from Clarksons, Asian shipowners will hold the top spot for some time, as 49% of the tonnage in the current order book is for Asian shipowners, some 79 million GT, compared to 33% for European shipowners (53 million GT).