China leads in global shipbuilding industry in 2017
China’s shipbuilding industry ranked first in the world in 2017, according to a report recently released by the world’s largest shipbroking and integrated shipping services provider.
Data released by the British shipbuilding analysis agency Clarkson Research Services shows that in 2017, China took the first place in three indexes measuring the development and capacity of a country’s shipbuilding industry: the completion of ships, new orders, and volume of holding orders.
“The completion rate reached 41 percent [of the global market], while the volume of new orders came to 42.4 percent, and our holding orders accounted for 44 percent. I should say that it’s not easy to achieve such a level in this difficult situation,” said Guo Dacheng, chairman of China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry.
From the 1950s to the beginning of the 21st century, the three indexes had been topped by Japan or South Korea. In 2010, China exceeded South Korea and ranked first in the world. The record was kept for years until China was surpassed by South Korea in the completion in 2016 and ranked second.
Among the three indexes, the volume of new orders is the most noticeable. The new order China received in 2017 saw a year-on-year growth or nearly 30 percent. The increase reflects an improvement of the quality of China’s shipbuilding industry.
For example, currently the largest container vessel ever built is the OOCL Hong Kong, which can carry 21,000 containers. And the record is going to be broken by China as the country has received an order of 22,000 twenty-foot-equivalent-units container vessels.
“It’s a process from quantitative change to qualitative change. In the past we imitated and followed others, now we are at the same pace with the entire market. Generally speaking, ship-owners always want their ships to carry more goods with less fuel consumption, so that the operation cost can be reduced to the minimum. So there is no ‘best ship type’, but only ‘the most suitable ship type’ according to their needs,” said Yu Lai, deputy director of the department of civil ships at MARIC.
Shipbuilders in China have been developing not only productions with high value-added, but also advanced customization service for the customers.
For instance, China has successfully delivered the world’s first 33,800-ton smart ship approved by UK’s Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, as well as the world largest 38,000-cubic meter ethylene tanker, and an offshore ocean farming facility with the largest individual space and the highest automation level at present.