Based on objective factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment, the latest report shows that the top five international shipping centres remain the same as in 2019, although with some movement. Singapore tops the list for the seventh consecutive year followed by London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai.
An international shipping centre is an important port city with a range of key characteristics, including excellent port facilities, advanced logistics systems and a strategic geopolitical location. It also has highly efficient shipping services as its core driver, as well as global shipping resources.
In 2014, China Economic Information Services in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange introduced the first "Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index" to the world. Since its inception six years ago, it has been gaining international influence.
Impacted by various factors, the international shipping industry has encountered numerous challenges in recent years. It remains uncertain how the global shipping industry will be affected by factors such as trade protectionism, contractions in supply chain and environmental changes in the long run.
Recently, the price volatility of crude oil and the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), have had a significant effect on the international shipping industry in 2020.
The research team has taken into account feedback from industry experts on index construction over the past six years to improve the model and index hierarchy. This year's report includes more in-depth regional research and offers a summary of the development characteristics of major shipping routes and regions. It also explores topics such as the development of major cities and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The evaluation results show that the top 10 international shipping centres in 2020, by order of ranking, are: Singapore, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, New York-New Jersey and Tokyo. The overall results have been relatively stable throughout 2014 to 2020, the period during which the development index has been published on an annual basis.