The need to import and export goods, as sparked by globalization, made shipbuilding an important strategic industry. Although Europe remains a crucial market for the production of cruise vessels, the East Asian region dominates shipbuilding with China, Japan, and South Korea being the largest shipbuilding nations, globally. The shortage of shipyard workers and the supply chain disruption induced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are expected to slow production down. The ship demolition activity is also centered in South East Asia, with Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan accounting for 92 percent of the global ship scrapping activity.
The leading shipbuilding companies worldwide include Hyundai HI, Daewoo Shipbuilding, China State Shipbuilding Corp. and Samsung HI. Philly Shipyard and General Dynamics NASSCO are among the few U.S.-based companies in the field of shipbuilding.