Ship owners ranking

Issued on 13 Aug 20


A big change in the ranking of shipowners? 68 ships! COSCO SHIPPING's orders rank first in the world; Japan's two major shipping giants cut 92 ships!

Since the beginning of this year, although the global new shipbuilding market has fallen into recession under the impact of the new coronavirus epidemic, COSCO SHIPPING Group has booked ships against the trend, holding orders increased to 68 ships, becoming the world's largest shipowner with the most orders for the first time.


Clarkson’s latest data shows that as of July this year, COSCO SHIPPING’s orders have increased from 53 1.6 million CGT (modified gross tonnage) at the beginning of the year to 68 2.4 million CGT, and its ranking has jumped from fifth in the world to first in the world.


Several subsidiaries of COSCO SHIPPING Group have finalized several construction contracts. Among them, COSCO SHIPPING Special Transport ordered 8 62,000-ton multi-purpose pulp ships in Dalian COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry; Shanghai LNG, a subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Energy, ordered 3 174,000 cubic meters LNG ships in Hudong Zhonghua; OOCL in Nantong COSCO Kawasaki Ordered 5 23000TEU ultra-large container ships with Dalian COSCO SHIPPING Kawasaki. This is the first time that COSCO SHIPPING Group has joined the 23000TEU ultra-large ship camp.

The Carnival Group, which previously ranked first for a long time, now has the same amount of orders held at that time, ranking second. According to Clarkson’s latest data, the third to tenth largest orders are Mediterranean Shipping, 15 1.9 million CGT; Royal Caribbean Cruises, 13 1.7 million CGT; Imabari Shipbuilding Corporation of Japan, 51 1.7 million CGT; Long Rong Shipping, 24 1.3 million CGT; Genting Hong Kong, 12 1.2 million CGT; South Korea HMM 8, 15 1.1 million CGT; Greek Angelicoussis Group, 16 1.1 million CGT; Norwegian Cruise Control, 9 1.1 million CGT.

As of the end of July 2020, the total number of global on hand orders was 2831 and 70.8 million CGT. A year ago, the relevant figure was 3172 and 78.9 million CGT.


In terms of container ships, Alphaliner's data analysis shows that global container ship orders as a percentage of the global fleet have dropped to the lowest level in more than 20 years. Evergreen and CMA CGM are currently the two shipping companies with the largest orders. Shipowners’ refusal to order new ships is not unique to the container ship industry. According to data from Clarkson Research Services, newbuilding orders for all ship types in the first half of the year fell by 57% to the lowest level of the century. In the first six months of this year, only 269 ships have signed contracts worldwide, equivalent to 5.75 million revised gross tonnage (CGT), putting many shipyards in danger of going out of business in the coming year.


According to the latest ranking, the market share of the top twelve large-scale and larger ship owners reaches 85%. It is worth noting that the difference between MSK and MSC is only WAN HAI , and CMA and COSCO are in the middle.

In terms of the total size of existing containers and new orders. Evergreen is particularly eye-catching. A new order of up to 520,000 TEU is equivalent to rebuilding Evergreen, which has a tendency to surpass ONE and Hapag-Lloyd to enter the top 5. The second is that CMA CGM’s new orders reached 450,000 TEU, which is likely to squeeze COSCO into the top three. I wonder if COSCO, who is squeezed to fourth by CMA CGM, will respond?

It is worth noting that when COSCO SHIPPING Group bucked the trend in ordering ships, the two major Japanese shipping giants, MOL and K Line, have successively announced large-scale reductions in their existing fleet due to the impact of the new corona virus.

First, in late June, MOL announced that it would reduce the size of its fleet and plan to reduce 40 ships in the next three years to deal with the "biggest crisis in 136 years since its establishment."

MOL’s fleet reduction plan focuses on container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and automobile carriers, 13 of which will be sold, which is equivalent to a 5% reduction in fleet size.

On August 5, Kawasaki Steamship disclosed that it will cut 52 ships in the next five years, of which 20 ships will be cut in fiscal year 2020, and more than 30 ships will be cut from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2025.

According to Kawasaki Motors’ first quarter fiscal year 2020 (April to June) performance report, the company’s operating income was approximately 152.2 billion yen (approximately US$1.44 billion), a sharp drop of 31.1% from the same period last year; attributable to the parent company The owner’s net income was a loss of nearly 1 billion yen (approximately 9 million U.S. dollars), a decrease of 8.7% from the same period last year, and a profit of 7.8 billion yen in the same period last year. Kawasaki Motors attributed the loss to the epidemic that led to a decrease in transportation volume, which in turn caused revenue decline and performance loss.


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