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Largest shipbuilding nations based on gross tonnage 2019

China, South Korea, and Japan were the leading shipbuilding nations in 2019. China completed ships with a combined gross tonnage of around 22.3 million. CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) is China's leading shipyard.

About the shipbuilding industry

Shipbuilding is a risky business; it is as cyclical as it is capital intensive, and fleet expansion can mean make or break for a shipyard’s customer: the shipping line. Shipping lines can be divided into cruise lines and freighters. While cruise lines operate ships to carry passengers, freighters employ vessels to transport cargo. Florida-headquartered Carnival Corporation is the largest player in the cruise industry worldwide. The group owns brands such as AIDA Cruises, the Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, and Princess Cruises.

Tankers comprise the largest segment in terms of tonnage

There were around 15,000 tankers in the world merchant fleet as of January 2019, and the global shipbuilding industry completed tankers with a combined gross tonnage of 13 million, making it the largest category in terms of gross tonnage. During the first half of 2019, the cruise shipbuilding industry built cruise ships with a gross tonnage of around 773,000. Cruise ships such as Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas can reach gross tonnage of almost 227,000.

Largest shipbuilding nations in 2019, based on deliveries

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Shipbuilding industry worldwide"

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