German Merchant Fleet continues to shrink

Mid of 2019 the German owned fleet stood at 2,715 vessels of a combined 93 million dwt, compared to about 4,000 ships (131 million dwt) at the start of 2013. Among the top shipping nations, Germany is the “biggest loser” since the beginning of the crisis.

Development of the German controlled fleet

German Merchant Fleet continues to shrink © ISL, based on Clarkson Research Services Limited (CRSL)

While countries such as Greece and China have expanded the capacity of their merchant fleets, the German controlled merchant fleet has shrunk sharply. Germany, still the fourth largest maritime player, saw its controlled merchant fleet shrink every year since the peak in 2013 - that means by one fourth in terms of capacity and by around one third in terms of the number of vessel. Since the collapse of the KG financing system, on the one hand, German owners have hardly ordered new ships, on the other hand, they have been forced to scrap or sell their ships (abroad). According to the German Shipowners Association, most ships were sold to well-financed Greek owners, followed by Chinese and Singapore companies.

These and other development trends of the global merchant fleet can be found in the recently published ISL SSMR 2019-11, which is available via the ISL Webshop.