VesselsValue unveils top 10 shipowning nations

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VesselsValue unveil top 10 shipowning nations

VesselsValue has unveiled this year’s top 10 shipowning nations, reviewing the total asset values for vessels by beneficial owner country.

1. Japan

Japan continues to lead, taking the number one spot owning the highest-valued fleet and holding a total of approximately $206.3 billion in assets. This is an increase of 5 per cent since the last report in November 2022. 

Significant investments took place in the tanker sector with almost 100 vessels added to the fleet, increasing the total value by 15.5 per cent. In addition, values for this sector have gained strength over almost all sub-sectors and age categories over the last year, reported VesselsValue. For example, 10 YO Suezmaxes of 160,000 DWT has increased by 19.8 per cent year on year (YoY) from $53.43 million to $64.01 million.

Out of the top ship-owning countries, Japan owns the highest value fleets for LNG and LPG vessels by both value at $37.8 billion and $13.4 billion respectively, and by volume at 202 LNG vessels and 344 LPG. According to VesselsValue, Japan also owns the largest and most valuable fleet for vehicle carriers with 334 vessels and a total value of $22.9 billion.

2. China 

Once again, China maintains its top position by vessel ownership, boasting a total of 6,084 vessels and a current fleet value amounting to $204 billion.

China owns the largest bulker fleet, both in terms of vessels and values. As a result of improved market fundamentals, earnings for bulkers have been firm, particularly for the Capesizes. This has had a positive impact on values which have increased by 30.36 per cent YoY for newly built 0YO vessels of 180,000 DWT which have increased from $54.75 million to $71.37 million, the highest levels since March 2010. 

China also owns the largest number of tankers and containerships. The tanker fleet consists of 1,576 vessels with a total value of $47.4 billion and the container fleet has 1,011 vessels, worth an impressive $42.6 billion.

Although the container fleet has grown since the last time this report was put together, the value of the fleet has decreased by 23.8 per cent. This comes as the market has slowed significantly from the highs of 2022 and this has had an impact on values that have fallen across many sectors. For example, values for 20YO Handy Container vessels of 1,750 TEU, have fallen by 20.1 per cent YoY from $8.55 million to $6.76 million. 

3. Greece

Greece has maintained its position as the third-ranked country by both the total number of vessels in its fleet and overall value.

While China owns more tankers, the Greek tanker fleet has the highest value at $69.5 billion, surpassing China by $22.1 billion.

Over the last two years, the ongoing Russian sanctions and the resulting surge in tonne-mile demand have continued to bolster earnings for tankers.

In addition, the situation unfolding in the Red Sea is providing further support to earnings, at least in the short term. This has kept tanker values hovering around the highest levels since 2010 for most sectors, for example, values for 15YO Suezmaxes of 160,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) are currently up 20.62 per cent from the same period last year, from $38.37 million to $46.28 million. 

Greece is also the owner of the second-largest LNG fleet, with 143 vessels and a fleet value of $31.1 billion. The values in this sector have consistently remained at elevated levels since 2022, driven by a surge in demand. 

READ: Top 5 Automated Ports in Europe

Positions 4 to 10 showcase a diverse array of countries and their respective maritime strengths.

The US maintains its fourth position with a total of $99.9 billion, up over $1 billion from VesselsValue’s last report.

Singapore follows closely in fifth place, with a fleet value of $85.7 billion, and fourth place in terms of the number of vessels owned. Singapore’s container fleet is the third most valuable globally, worth $22.1 billion, accounting for almost a quarter of the value of the entire fleet. 

READ: Singapore, Japan work on green and digital shipping corridor development

South Korea holds onto sixth place, standing at a total fleet value of $67 million, an increase of just over $1 billion since the last report, while Norway advances to seventh place, with a total fleet value of $59.3 billion driven by investments in the gas sectors and notable orders in the LPG and vehicle carrier segments.

The UK rises to eighth place, with a value of $53.8 billion, benefitting from gains in the tanker and LPG sectors, although facing reduced values in containers which account for a 15 per cent share of the UK’s vessel asset value. Germany slips to ninth while Hong Kong emerges as a newcomer in tenth.

Shipping companies worldwide are preparing to expand their fleet sizes with new environmentally friendly vessels. The most recent announcement comes from OOCL, which revealed its newest eco-friendly vessel.

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