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Singapore tops international maritime centre rankings in Xinhua-Baltic report

12 Jul 2021

The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index, published by Chinese news agency, Xinhua, and global maritime data provider, the Baltic Exchange, has ranked Singapore as the top global shipping centre for the eighth year running.

The index is an independent ranking of the performance of locations around the world that provide port and professional services to the shipping industry, stated the Baltic Exchange on Sunday (11 July).

Singapore has been rated as the top location due to the size of its port, number of internationally-focused shipbrokers, financiers, lawyers and insurers based there and its supportive government policies.

Despite a significant drop in global trade and business disruptions in 2020 due to the pandemic, the relative positions of the world’s leading maritime centres have remained unchanged. London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai were the next four strongest centres, as they were the prior year.

The report finds:

  • Singapore tops the list for the eighth year followed by London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai
  • Top 10 locations remain largely unchanged since 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19, and features four Asian, four European, one Middle East and one United States location
  • Asia occupies three of the top five spots
  • Ningbo in China replaced Tokyo in the top 10


Ranking 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
1 Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore
2 London London Hong Kong Hong Kong London
3 Shanghai Shanghai London London Hong Kong
4 Hong Kong Hong Kong Shanghai Shanghai Hamburg
5 Dubai Dubai Dubai Dubai Shanghai
6 Rotterdam Rotterdam Rotterdam Rotterdam Dubai
7 Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg New York
8 Athens/Piraeus Athens/Piraeus New York/

New Jersey

New York/

New Jersey

9 New York/

New Jersey

New York/

New Jersey

Houston Tokyo Tokyo
10 Ningbo Tokyo Athens/Piraeus Busan Athens/Piraeus


“Our international maritime centre remains a vibrant marketplace centered on a strong core of shipping companies and a comprehensive pool of maritime services such as shipbroking, marine insurance, ship financing and maritime law and arbitration.

Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport, said, “As the world’s busiest container trans-shipment and bunkering hub, the Port of Singapore has done well to support global seaborne trade during this pandemic. “

“I thank our maritime companies and unions for their strong partnership in growing Singapore’s maritime sector amidst a very challenging year.”

Note: Click here to download a copy of the report.


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 12 July, 2021

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