Denmark is the world’s 10th largest maritime nation

Denmark remains among the world's top ten maritime nations Denmark maintains its impressive position among the world's top maritime nations. However, competition from other countries is fierce, and overall, Denmark is experiencing a slight decline.


Denmark is still at the forefront among the world’s largest maritime nations.

This is confirmed by a new report from Danish Shipping (Danske Rederier), which also indicates that Denmark is slipping slightly in terms of both operated tonnage and the number of ships under the Danish flag.

In terms of operated tonnage, Denmark is currently ranked 10th this year. Germany has just managed to surpass us compared to last year. The total amount of Danish-operated tonnage is approximately 57.2 million tons.

“Denmark is a small country, but we are a maritime superpower. We should be proud of that, even though we are slipping a bit on the list this time. Our position among the world’s largest maritime nations means that Denmark speaks with great influence on the international stage. For example, Denmark is listened to in the United Nations’ maritime organization, IMO, where Denmark leads efforts to make the goal of climate-neutral shipping a reality,” says Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping.

The total number of ships under the Danish flag (DIS) has decreased from 755 at the same time last year to 748 in this year’s assessment. The same marginal decline can be seen in the assessment of Danish-flagged tonnage, which has decreased from approximately 22.8 million tons in 2023 to 22.5 million tons. This means that Denmark is the world’s 12th-largest flag state, closely followed by Portugal and Cyprus.

“The Danish flag still signals quality and proper conditions on board. But there is no doubt that the competition from other skilled and ambitious maritime nations is tough. Therefore, I am also looking forward to working on the Growth Plan for the Blue Denmark, as announced by the government. A new national growth plan should not only preserve Danish shipping as a unique Danish strength but also contribute to taking Danish shipping to new heights. Nothing less,” says Anne H. Steffensen.

The numbers in the article are drawn from the S&P Maritime Portal in January 2024.

Operated tonnage: Tonnage is a nautical term for weight and volume units used as the basis for calculating a vessel’s cargo capacity. “Operated tonnage” refers to the total cargo capacity of ships operated from Denmark (or controlled from shipping offices in Denmark).

Ships under the Danish flag: Ships under the Danish flag have the Danish flag at the stern and are registered either in the General Ship Register (DAS) or the Danish International Ship Register (DIS).


This article is shared by courtesy of Danish Shipping

For more articles about the Danish Shipping industry, click here.


Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals
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