Merchant Fleet Infographic: 2023 Update

Our Merchant Fleet Infographic 2023 Update gives you a visual representation of crucial data shaping the industry. As we help companies in the liquid bulk and chemical supply chain, we like focusing on container and tanker ships. Container ships are crucial for transporting tank containers, flexitanks, drums, and intermediate bulk containers. Oil and chemical tankers are needed to move petroleum and petrochemical products in larger quantities.

Merchant fleet Infographic 2023 review

The merchant fleet covers ships registered at a given date in a country and authorized to navigate at sea. Fleet data in our infographic is the fleet data published by Equasis, a public site promoting maritime safety and quality. We sourced additional information in our infographic from UNCTAD, which provides a wide range of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, economy, investment, maritime transport, and development overall. 

The global fleet consists of 118,928 merchant vessels for a total Gross Tonnage (in 1000 gt) of 1,479,783. Of this fleet, 4.64% or 5,517 ships are container ships, while 12.03% or 14,309 ships are oil and chemical tankers. Container ships cover a Gross Tonnage (in 1000 gt) of 265,892 (17.97%), while chemical tankers cover a Gross Tonnage (in 1000 gt) of 375,220 (25.36%).

The flag state is the jurisdiction under whose laws the merchant vessel is registered or licensed and is deemed the nationality of the vessel. Panama remains the most popular flag state, followed by Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Also, 95% of global shipbuilding happens in China, South Korea, and Japan.

Another interesting observation is that more than 50% of the merchant fleet is owned by Asian companies. European companies own about 39% of the merchant fleet, while the balance is owned by North American companies and the rest of the world.

Useful blog posts

Understanding the underlying dynamics making freight markets is crucial for shippers, ship owners, and investors and key to developing a successful supply chain. Read our blog post – Parcel Tanker & Container Freight Markets: The Key Dynamics.

A second important topic is transport selection. Read our blog post – Transport And Hub Selection For Liquid Bulk Cargoes. 

A third recommended blog post covers supply chain resilience. Read our blog post – Maritime Chokepoints: How Is Your Supply Chain Resilience?

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Photo Credit: ener8