ECSA (The European Community Shipowners Association) opened its European Shipping Week 2020 flagship event in Brussels this week by releasing some of the latest figures on European shipping as compiled by Oxford Economics.
According to the latest information from 2018, European shipping directly contributed €54Bn to the GDP of the EU. Taking into account the spill over effects to other sectors of the EU economy, the total contribution stands at €149Bn.
The European shipping industry directly employs 685,000 people. In total, taking into account the effects on other sectors of the EU economy, the European shipping industry is supporting two million jobs.
A direct comparison with the previous 2015 figures is difficult, due to changes in methodology and data sources. However, the trends are clear. The European shipping industry, with a few exceptions, is still under severe pressure from difficult market conditions, leading to a decline of the contribution to the EU’s GDP. As a result also the number of jobs created by the European shipping industry remains under pressure.
“Shipping is and should always remain one of the most valuable assets of Europe, economically, socially and culturally. There are many opportunities as well as challenges facing the sector. Especially the continued depressed market conditions for many EU shipowners pose extra challenges for the industry that wants to decarbonise as quickly as possible and to contribute to safe and highly skilled jobs in Europe. For European shipping to stay in business, regulators have to adopt a global perspective and ensure a global level playing field. “The current tensions between the global trading powers, the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the insecurity along the Gulf of Hormuz all contribute to difficult and uncertain market conditions," commented Martin Dorsman, ECSA's Secretary General.
Dorsman also added that Brexit is a contributing factor to the uncertainties faced by the European shipping industry.
The 2020 update of the ‘Economic Value of the EU Shipping Industry” by Oxford Economics is available for download here.