The leading maritime capitals of the world: Hamburg ranked second

02 Jun 2015 14:58 Economy

This biennial report ranks the 15 leading maritime capitals of the world within four areas: shipping, maritime finance and law, ports and logistics services and maritime technology. We also present an overall assessment of the cities’ competitiveness and attractiveness to maritime companies. In 2015, Singapore is ranked as the overall leader, followed by Hamburg and Oslo. 

Countries and cities are to an increasing extent competing to attract the best companies and most talented people. The winners in this race for attractiveness will become the leading maritime countries and cities of the world. This report ranks 15 leading maritime cities in the world by using a broad set of objective indicators and builds on a comprehensive survey among 200 industry experts located in 33 countries. As such, the report gives valuable insights into the strongholds of the global maritime industry today. 

Two years ago, our first report on the leading maritime cities of the world ranked Singapore in first place. This year’s report again places Singapore at the top of the list. With its business friendly policies, and being strategically located on the trade route between Europe and Asia, Singapore has gained a position in the global economy few would have predicted 40 years ago. As recently as 10 years ago, Singapore lacked maritime research and education, and the lines between foreign and domestic companies were weak. Today, the city plays a key role in all aspects of the maritime industry.

Hamburg takes second place and Oslo comes third. Oslo has its strengths within maritime finance and technology, but is beaten overall by Hamburg because of Hamburg’s importance as a European port city. Both cities, together with London and Rotterdam, are fighting to become the leading city in Europe for maritime activities. London is the world’s leading city for maritime finance and law, while Rotterdam’s strength lies in port and logistics services. 
The increasing importance of China in the maritime industry is evident in the fact of Shanghai joining Hong Kong on the list of top five cities. China is the world’s largest trading nation, has one of the world’s largest shipbuilding industries and six of this world’s ten largest ports are located in the vast country. Hong Kong is challenged as a maritime hub by the strong growth rate of other Chinese cities. 

Looking five years into the future, our experts predict that Singapore will keep its position as the global leader, while Shanghai is expected to increase its importance and become the second most important maritime city. The race to become the leading city in Europe is still open, between the big four. Dubai is predicted to take the step from being the leading maritime city in the Middle East to one of the leading maritime capitals of the world.


Hafen Hamburg