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Mega-vessels transform China into world’s biggest container shipping nation

Aerial view of cargo ship in transit.
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China is the biggest nation in the container shipping after overtaking Germany in terms of total TEU, according to data from the German Shipowners’ Association or Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR).

Beijing has reached this milestone by building bigger vessels and increasing its hold over maritime industry as a whole.

Its national container shipping line COSCO has more than tripled its market share in recent years and plans to build a 25,000 TEU container ship.

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In a statement, the VDR described China leapfrogging Germany as “quite foreseeable” but said Germany remained the fifth biggest shipping nation in the world when everything was considered.

This includes the number of ships registered under its flag and overall share of the global shipping industry, which is 4.9%.

At the end of 2019, Germany had a total of 2,140 ships on its registers with a collective gross tonnage of 52.8 billion.

That figure represents a drop of 184 ships and 4.7 million tonnes from 2019, but is an increase on Germany’s status 20 years ago.


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