Number of ships in German commercial fleet keep dwindling

There are increasingly fewer vessels in the German ship register. However, Germany remains the fifth-largest shipping nation, but it should look to other EU countries regarding one area in particular, urges Ralf Nagel, CEO of the German Shipowners' Association.

Photo: PR/Port of Hamburg/Michael Lidner

The number of ships in the German commercial fleet has dropped markedly in recent years. This applies to 2019 as well, when ships kept trickling out, amounting to 184 fewer vessels by the end of the year, according to a report by the German Shipowners' Association, VDR.

Today, the German shipping industry accounts for 4.9 percent of the global fleet with 2,140 ships and a gross tonnage of 52.8 billion recorded in the German ship register. That is 4.7 million less gross tonnage than in the year prior and a 0.6-percent drop.

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