An international shipping centre is characterised by
- It’s location,
- The services it offers,
- It’s business environment and
- Port infrastructure or facilities.
In light of the above characters, London has been declared as the world’s’ best maritime service centre. The Baltic Exchange and Xinhua, China’s news agency reports this in the month of September 2015. However, Singapore tops the list for its combined port and maritime services put-together.
The International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD) has come up with an overall Index after studying 46 of the world’s largest ports and cities. This index is given to present more clarity to investors and governments about the performance of shipping centres worldwide.
The overall Index categorises London as the leader in the maritime service sector, closely followed by Singapore, and Hong Kong ports. All these 3 cities boast of very large ports that support comprehensive maritime business service sectors. Sixth on the list is Shanghai port and the tenth is Athens in the place of Tokyo.
The index base on the following qualifying criteria.
- Maritime Services that include the following: Brokerage, Maritime Legal Services, Arbitration, Shipping Finance, Ship Management, Maritime Insurance, Ship Engineering, Ship Repairs.
- Business Environment that include the following: Economic Freedom, Tariffs, Logistics Efficiency and Developed Infrastructure, Official Corruption / Transparency, National IT and Communications Development.
- Port Conditions that include the following: Container and Commodity Cargo Volume, Port Depth, Container Berths, Number of Quay Cranes.
The report projects top four shipping centres of the world are located in Asia, four in Europe and one each in the USA and the Middle East. The report provides a supplementary ranking of the maritime service sector in various cities based on their depth and network of maritime services offered. Of this, London yet again tops the list followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Athens.
Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Jeremy Penn is quoted to have said: “Singapore and London have continued to thrive for many reasons not least because of their locations, experience, strong legal frameworks, tax frameworks and the ease of doing business. As an international shipping organisation with members all around the world, the Baltic finds this report useful for demonstrating to governments the importance of shipping industry. Ports and the professional maritime services sector are big employers bringing international revenues to national economies.”
Xinhua/Baltic Exchange index: “Xinhua Indices” is a subsidiary of China Finance Corporation under the Xinhua News Agency umbrella. It is the main creator of the indexing business under Xinhua’s financial information platform (a National “Core electronic, High-end ceramic chips and Basic software” project). The company aims to construct and release four types of indices suitable for tracking product trading, price benchmarking, economy characterisation and competitiveness evaluation.
The Baltic Exchange is the world’s only independent maritime information publisher. It provides information on the trading of physical and derivative shipping products. About 640 member firms encompasses the majority of the world’s shipping entities. These members are committed to a code of business conduct administered by the Baltic Exchange. The Baltic Exchange members are responsible for a large proportion of all dry cargo and tanker fixtures as well as the sale and purchase of merchant’s vessels.
Source: Baltic Exchange