A merchant marine or merchant fleet includes all seagoing vessels that are entered in the shipping register of the respective state and are used for sea shipping for the purpose of transporting goods ( merchant ships ) and people.
Merchant marine ship types are primarily cargo ships of all kinds, ships for passenger transport ( ferries and cruise ships ), but not deep-sea fishing ships . Specifically, only those seagoing ships that are classified and entered in the shipping register belong to the merchant marine . A merchant navy ship flies the flag of the state in which it is registered and is subject to its tax, environmental and labor regulations .
The trade flags of some states to be shown on the ships differ from their national flag . This is not the case for Austria and Germany, in Switzerland there is only a partial difference in the format (2: 3).
Merchant fleets today
The total of the merchant navy ( world merchant fleet ) in 1999 comprised a gross tonnage (GT) of 543.6 million. Germany accounted for 6.5 million GT (with an average age of three years). The world's largest merchant fleets (as of 2019) have Panama (215.9 million GT) and Liberia (124.1 million GT) due to flagged ships . During the global economic crisis of 2009/10 , many merchant ships were laid up or only sailed at significantly reduced speeds in order to save fuel (" slow steaming "). A shipping crisis began due to an oversupply of cargo space . Too many ships had been ordered or built and came on the market after completion, while at the same time the cargo volume decreased (see also pig cycle ). To date (mid-2013) it has not recovered sustainably. Freight rates (= transport price ) and charter rates ( rental price for a ship) plummeted. The charter shipping companies, which are widespread in Germany, are particularly affected.
(As of 2019)
|Number of ships
(As of 2016)
|People's Republic of China||41||2,818|
|Republic of Cyprus||29.3||829|
- Statistics of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (Germany) ( Memento from March 7, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 45 kB)
- The largest merchant navies in the CIA World Fact Book
- Germany's maritime dependency - facts and figures (marine.de) (annual reports 2012, 2011, 2010 etc.)
- Key figures on the maritime dependency of the Federal Republic ( Memento from December 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 538 kB)
- Size of the ships in the merchant fleets by flag state | Statistics. Retrieved May 2, 2019 .
- DMKN "Development of the World Trade Fleet 2016" https://dmkn.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2_3_Entwickelder_Welthandelsflotte_jahresbericht2016.pdf