Europe’s share of world fleet shrinks

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 20 February 2020


Europe’s share of the world fleet is shrinking and Europe needs to create a framework under which competition, environment and social policies need to be better balanced the body representing European shipowners has said.

Over the past fifteen years, the EU-controlled share of the world's total fleet has been reduced from 41.2% to 39.5% according to a new analysis from Oxford Economics made for European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).

Eu ships

But the proportion may be even smaller, according to ECSA's Director General, Martin Dorsmann who explained many European shipowners enter into sale-and-lease-back agreements with Chinese interests.

The new figures were presented by Dorsmann, at European Shipping Week in Brussels. And the falling share is an indication that European shipowners are under pressure, he said.

"The profit ratios of most shipowners in the EU are still under pressure or falling, and from these figures I think the most important message to lawmakers is that it is about creating framework conditions in Europe that are as positive as possible," he said.

He pointed to the fierce competition from the Far East and several other places and called for balancing efforts in relation to competitiveness. "We must combine competitiveness with our ambitions for the environment and for the social area," said Dorsmann.

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