the world’s top shipping nation, followed by United States and Japan in the
second and third spots, respectively, according to a new report released this
week DNV GL and Menon Economics.
titled “The Leading Maritime Nations of the World”, was presented at the SMM
trade fair in Hamburg, Germany.
benchmarks the 30 leading maritime nations around the world in four key
maritime pillars: shipping, finance and law, maritime technology and ports
& logistics, in an attempt to understand the key drivers behind national
The new report follows up the 2017 report by Menon and DNV GL on
the “Leading Maritime Capitals of the World”, but shifts the focus to an
extensive review of the maritime industry at the national level.
The 30 nations were ranked by size and magnitude on all four key
maritime pillars and their subgroups. As the shipping sector is the main engine
of the entire maritime industry, more weight was given to the shipping sector.
The 2018 report ranks China as the world’s leading maritime
nation, due to its top four ranking in all of the maritime pillars.
“The strength of China is overwhelming, particularly on the
pillar of ports and logistics, but also in shipping,” says Erik W. Jakobsen,
Managing Partner in Menon Economics and co-author of the report. “It should not
surprise us, though, since China is the largest exporting and importing country
of the world. The other economic superpower, USA, follows China on the ranking,
with major ports and maritime cities both on the east and west coast.”
USA is placed second, scoring high on all four dimensions,
followed by Japan. Germany, Norway and South Korea, share the 4th place.
Germany’s strength lies in its consistency, with a top 5 spot in
three categories, whereas Norway has its strongest position within Maritime
Finance & Law and maritime technology. South Korea scores top in Maritime
Technology and is among the top 10 in Shipping and Ports & logistics.
“For the top 3 maritime nations, the study’s rankings mirror
the size of their national economies,” says Shahrin Osman, Regional Head of
Maritime Advisory for South East Asia, Pacific and India, at DNV GL Maritime,
who co-authored both the 2017 and 2018 reports. “Interestingly however, in the
joint fourth position of Norway, South Korea, and Greece in the 7th position,
we can see that ‘smaller’ countries can still have an outsize influence and
importance to the maritime world, due to their traditions, history and
innovations. We hope that this report will be a valuable resource for national
maritime authorities or governmental ministries, serving as an inspiration, a
benchmark, and demonstrating a development path to leadership in the shipping