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London retains lead position in maritime services sector

Posted on: 17 July 2020

The Baltic Exchange, in collaboration with Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, has published the 2020 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index. 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.

The report highlights that London – “a sophisticated shipping service industry cluster” – retains its leading role in maritime services, having climbed up to the second place overall.

“As the oldest international shipping centre, through over a century of development, London has formed a comprehensive modern high-end shipping service industry cluster covering shipping brokerage, maritime insurance, shipping finance, maritime law, maritime consulting and others”, the report says. “From the perspective of market share, London has secured a leading position globally in maritime litigation and arbitration, shipping finance, shipping insurance, shipping brokerage and other service sectors. Taking maritime arbitration as an example, the London Maritime Arbitrators Association handled 2,952 cases in 2019, accounting for over 70% of the world’s cases.”

The latest report is based on objective factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment.  Highlights include:

  • The top 5 international shipping centres remain the same as 2019, although with some movement
  • Singapore tops the list for the seventh consecutive year followed by London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai
  • London and Dubai are the only top 5 international shipping centres outside Asia, with London moving up one spot into second place
  • Continued rise in Middle East and Mediterranean locations with Dubai retaining fifth place while Athens rose to eighth place
  • Singapore maintained its position as the most important shipping hub in the Asia-Pacific region, ranking first for seven consecutive years with its advantages of geographical location, shipping industry ecosystem and supportive government policies.
  • London, with advantages accruing from providing high-end shipping finance, insurance, and legal services, has climbed back to the second place after dropping to third place in 2018 and 2019.

Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson, also Maritime London Director,  said: “Whilst this report reflects a pre-COVID 19 world, those locations which continue to build on their strengths, are able to communicate a clear vision for the future and diversify beyond the physical port hub will be the ones who are able to succeed in the future. We call on all the main shipping hubs to continue investing in education, R&D and new services; remain open to global talent and offer an attractive international business environment.”

Click here to download a copy of the report.

Top 10 cities:

What is Maritime London?

Maritime London – the promotional body for UK based companies providing professional services to the international shipping industry

Funded by over 100 companies and organisations from a wide range of disciplines, Maritime London ensures that the UK remains a world beating location to base a maritime related business. Maritime London’s mission is to promote the UK as the world’s premier maritime business centre.

Our core Maritime Services

The UK is home to a world beating array of professional maritime service providers. Maritime sectors include:

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