Data sources used in this report are quoted in the text, tables, and figures. Sources and methodology are described below. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has worked in collaboration with BDO AS on the analysis. Shipbrokers and consultants Lorentzen & Stemoco have contributed external market analysis to this year’s report. It is clearly indicated in the text where this material has been used. The market analysis can be found in its entirety at

Member survey on the shipping companies’ prospects and framework conditions

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association conducted a survey of its members in the period from January 4 to January 18, 2022. Members were sent an electronic questionnaire to survey their expectations of developments in key economic figures, growth markets, access to capital and competence, and political framework conditions. 92 out of 123 current member companies responded to the survey, giving a response rate of 75 percent. Respondents in the survey are representative of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s members, both in terms of fleet size and ship segment. The material therefore provides a sound basis for extrapolating from sample to population. Almost without exception, responses were provided by owners and senior management. 

Calculation of shipping companies’ growth in turnover in 2021 and 2022

BDO AS has access to accounting data for Norwegian shipping companies’ turnover in 2020. In the survey, shipping companies were asked to indicate turnover in 2020, estimated turnover for 2021, and expected percentage of growth in turnover for 2022. Since BDO AS does not have complete turnover figures for all shipping companies in 2021, these have been calculated as follows:

  1. The companies’ self-reported turnover in 2020 has been compared with information from official sources (such as audited turnover and the companies’ own annual reports, including consolidated accounts) for the same year. This in order to determine whether the self-reported turnover in the survey can be used as a basis for calculating the turnover of the total population of shipping companies in Norway.
  2. Self-reported turnover for 2021 has been adjusted for the proportion of total turnover in each of the four ship segments included in the data basis.
  3. Forecasts for 2022 have been calculated by multiplying the 2021 turnover of each member company by the self-declared growth for 2022. The estimated turnover was then summed up for the four ship segments. Estimated turnover is also adjusted for the share of total turnover in each of the four segments included in the data basis.

Valuation of the world’s shipping fleet

Menon Economics has estimated the value of the world’s merchant fleet from 2001 to the present, divided into 14 ship segments and all the world’s countries. Selected segments have been merged, giving a total of ten segments presented in the report. Within each segment, the calculations are based on newbuilding prices, freight rates, age, number of ships, life expectancy, gross tonnage, and deadweight tonnage.

Until this year, IHS Markit’s data has been used to calculate the fleet value, in addition to price data from Clarksons Platou. This year’s data is taken from Clarksons World Fleet Register. These two data sources are not exactly alike, meaning that the results in this year’s valuation vary somewhat from previous years. The biggest difference in the database is that Clarksons features broader coverage of vessels among nations. Consequently, this year’s report lacks fewer values compared to previous years. IHS Markit had around 11,000 vessels with unknown ownership nationality, while Clarksons only has just over 1,000 vessels with unknown nationality. This means that tonnage data at ship level varies across the data sources, but at the same time this year’s data provides a more complete picture. Cruise ships have been removed from the fleet figures, and historical figures have also been adjusted for this.

The corona pandemic has over the last two years presented major economic challenges for freight transport in the international supply chain. The challenges range from inefficient port operations to a shortage of raw materials. Changes in world trade have led to a significant increase in freight rates for container and dry bulk carriers. Freight rates for container ships have in the last couple of years been up to seven times higher compared to 2019 levels. Similarly, dry bulk has seen its freight rates more than double1. These price changes have a major impact on the fleet value, and are central to understanding the significant change from 2021 to 2022. However, we also see an increase in the fleet value as a result of keeping prices constant with only updated ship data, which in turn is due to classification differences between Clarksons and IHS Markit.

 1 Clarksons Research – World Fleet Monitor Volume 13, No.1 (January 2022)   

Changes in the data source, and thus coverage, in combination with more precise ownership information, lead to strong increases in the fleet value for some nations within some segments. Nevertheless, this year’s analyses are based on a stronger database with fewer uncertainties.

Norwegian-controlled foreign-going fleet – definitions and parameters

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association maintains statistics on the Norwegian-controlled foreign-going fleet. The parameters for inclusion of ships in the Norwegian-controlled foreign-going fleet are based on the following principles:

  • All ships registered in the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS)
  • Ships registered in the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR) and engaged in foreign trade
  • Ships sailing under foreign flags, owned by Norwegian-controlled shipping companies (stipulating 50 percent Norwegian ownership or higher) and engaged in foreign trade  a