Did China Become The No. 1 Shipbuilding Country?


  • China’s shipbuilding industry has surpassed Japan and South Korea to rank No. 1 worldwide.
  • It received new shipbuilding orders of 62.3 million tons deadweight last year, more than doubling from 2020.

China Beats Japan, South Korea to Be No. 1 Shipbuilder Amid Green Shift, says YiCai Global.

China’s Shipbuilding Industry

In the first half of this year, China’s number of fresh orders exceeded those of Japan and South Korea. It snatched nearly 50 percent of new orders last year. 

According to British maritime data provider Clarksons Research, the domestic industry has surpassed other countries in the number of completed ships. 

Maritime logistics demand has been soaring since the Covid-19 pandemic. The volume of new shipbuilding orders last year was the highest since 2014. Based on statistics from the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry, the country accepted new shipbuilding orders of 62.3 million tons deadweight last year. Its shipbuilding orders on hand totaled 98 million DWT, up 38 percent.

As per statistics from the CANSI, most of the ships that China exported in the first half are bulk carriers, oil tankers, container ships, and gas tankers, making up 68 percent of the country’s total vessel exports. 

China accepted orders to build 30 LNG-powered ships with a cargo capacity of 174,000 cubic meters in the first half, making up nearly 33 percent of the global total. The fraction of green energy-powered ships in the new orders rose to 45 percent from last year’s share of 24 percent.

Towards a greener future 

The International Maritime Organization, an agency under the United Nations in charge of regulating shipping, had ratified a proposal compelling shipping companies to cut their carbon dioxide emissions in the short term. Thus the industry is moving to green technologies. 

The tightening legislations would speed up ship upgrades and improve the growth of vessels powered by liquefied natural gas and other low-emission fuels, many industry insiders said.

China is also working hard on clean logistics. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development, and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment jointly published a document last month to facilitate maritime companies to come up with greener technologies. 

Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group has organized plans to boost its green offering by 2035. 

Shanghai-headquartered Jiangnan Shipyard Group has said it will create a research and development centre for low-carbon ships that make use of fifth-generation wireless networks and Big Data.

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Source:  YiCai Global 


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