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China becomes world's largest ship-owning country

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-08-13 12:59

A shipbuilding dock of Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co, a subsidiary of Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group, in the Jiangyin-Jingjiang industrial park of Jiangsu province. [Photo by Jiang Xueqing/China Daily]

China, measured by gross tonnages, has surpassed Greece to become the world's largest ship-owning country, according to information released by Shanghai-based China Shipowner's Association on Saturday.

Citing data from the United Kingdom-based Clarkson Research, China's ship-owning fleet currently has reached a total tonnage of 249.2 million GT, accounting for a market share of 15.9 percent, or about $180 billion in fleet value.

This is slightly higher than Greece's ship-owning fleet of 249 million GT, with a market share of 15.8 percent, or valued at around $163 billion, said Clarkson Research's study.

Japan ranks third with a fleet of 181 million GT, followed by South Korea and the United States, both at around 66 million GT.

GT is a nonlinear measure of a vessel's overall internal volume. It is different from gross register tonnage.

Stephen Gordon, an analyst from Clarksons Research, said that China's growth in ship fleet size should not come as a surprise, given its formidable cargo scale, well-developed shipbuilding industry and increasingly active financial sector.

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