International Shipping Centre Index 2020

Baltic Exchange shipping

( The index, in its seventh edition, provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities that offer port and shipping business services.

Based on objective factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment, the latest report shows that the top five international shipping centres remain the same as in 2019, although with some movement. Singapore tops the list for the seventh consecutive year followed by London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai.

An international shipping centre is an important port city with a range of key characteristics, including excellent port facilities, advanced logistics systems and a strategic geopolitical location. It also has highly efficient shipping services as its core driver, as well as global shipping resources.

In 2014, China Economic Information Services in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange
introduced the first "Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index" to the
world. Since its inception six years ago, it has been gaining international influence.

Impacted by various factors, the international shipping industry has encountered numerous challenges in recent years. It remains uncertain how the global shipping industry will be
affected by factors such as trade protectionism, contractions in supply chain and environmental changes in the long run.

Recently, the price volatility of crude oil and the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), have had a significant effect on the international shipping industry in 2020.

The research team has taken into account feedback from industry experts on index construction over the past six years to improve the model and index hierarchy. This year’s
report includes more in-depth regional research and offers a summary of the development
characteristics of major shipping routes and regions. It also explores topics such as the development of major cities and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The evaluation results show that the top 10 international shipping centres in 2020, by order of ranking, are: Singapore, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, New York-New Jersey and Tokyo. The overall results have been relatively stable throughout 2014 to 2020, the period during which the development index has been published on an annual basis.

General Evaluation

Singapore maintained its leading position as the most important shipping hub in the Asia-Pacific region, ranking first for seven consecutive years. London, with advantages accruing from providing high-end shipping services, has climbed back to the second place after dropping to third place in 2018 and 2019.

As the biggest port in terms of container throughput, Shanghai has seen a steady improvement in port facilities, distribution networks, shipping service levels and the general business environment in recent years, and has ascended to the top 3 for the first time.

Hong Kong fell from second to fourth place mainly due to a decrease in cargo throughput and a drop in rankings relative to other centres in areas such as shipping brokerage, insurance and legal services.

Dubai, as the pre-eminent shipping hub in the Middle East, ranked fifth for the third consecutive year.

Rotterdam and Hamburg have also retained their positions since 2018, ranking sixth and seventh respectively. Benefiting from its location is a key node in the "Belt and Road" initiative,

Athens rose to eighth. New York-New Jersey slipped by one place, while Tokyo rose one place, returning to the ranks of the top 10.

For more details click on the image below to download the full report:

Baltic Exchange shipping

Source: The Baltic Briefing

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