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Merchant shipping tonnage on a high

Our Kolkatta Bureau

THE world merchant shipping tonnage built and maintained to standards set by the London-based Lloyd's Register has reached an all-time high 113.8 million gross tonnes (gt), topping the previous record of 113.7 million tonnes achieved a quarter of a century ago, according London Press Service.

After taking into account 21.2 million gt of world shipping on order, the combined tonnage of the existing fleet and ships on order for Lloyd's classification far outstrips the previous record tonnage of 1979.

The figure today is 135 million gt while in 1979 the combined total was 124 million gt. In the 25 years since the previous tonnage high, 136 million gt of completions and transfers into class have taken place.

In tonnage terms, collectively more than 75 per cent have been oil tankers, bulk carriers and container ships. In terms of number of ships, these three types collectively account for half of the classed fleet.

Of late, a significant growth has been achieved in other sectors such as the specialised LNG and passenger ship markets.

Of those built over past 25 years, 45 per cent of the LNG tanker tonnage and 46 per cent of the existing cruise tonnage are currently classed by Lloyd's Register.

It is interesting to note that more than half of the 21.1 million gt of the world's new orders are placed with Korean yards and currently more ships are being built to Lloyd's Register class in Korea than with any other classification society.

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