Beijing August 15 2023: China has overtaken Greece as the world's largest maritime fleet owner in terms of gross tonnage (GT), Global Times quoted global shipping information provider Clarksons Research as saying.
Greece held that position for a decade, but China's position as the world's manufacturing hub, its resilient cargo trade and strong financial support for the shipping sector propelled it to the head of the industry, analysts said.
The latest rankings from Clarksons Research showed that the Chinese-owned fleet stands at 249.2 million GT. Greece was second with 249 million GT and Japan third with 181 million GT.
"China's shipping industry has been in a continuous state of development, and our role as the world's largest manufacturing hub remains steadfast. These factors contribute to the high ranking," Li Yanqing, Secretary-General of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry, told the Global Times on Sunday.
During the first half of 2023, Chinese shipyards completed 21.13 million deadweight tons (DWT) of new ships, up 14.2 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in July.
New orders amounted to 37.67 million DWT, up 67.7 percent, and orders on hand stood at 123.77 million DWT, up 20.5 percent. All these indicators secured China's top global rank.
"As China's fleet expands, the need for new ships naturally rises … our shipbuilding industry is fully capable of meeting domestic demand, and more than 70 percent of our new orders come from foreign countries," Li said.
Behind the leadership in fleet size lies the fact that China's leading positions in the global economy and world trade remain resilient.