Annual Report 2023

A year-in-review of the Danish shipping industry.

Course towards a greener future

The winds of change are blowing – not only over shipping but over the entire world.

And as our industry – shipping – is inherently global, we are particularly affected when the tectonic power plates shift, creating a new geopolitical reality.

Whether it is Russia's war against Ukraine, rivalry between the USA and China, or global climate politics, these are all things that have significant implications for us in the shipping industry, and which we have had to navigate through over the past year.

It has challenged all of us, I dare say. But let us pause for a moment and rejoice in the fact that we have come through the past year more than well. We have kept the supply chains flowing, and many of our shipping companies have delivered extra­or­di­na­rily impressive results. And even though freight rates in many segments have taken a significant hit, it is still possible to achieve remarkable results.

I am particularly pleased that this year has brought a couple of milestones in the green transformation of shipping. Maritime transport was included in the EU's emissions trading system, and shortly thereafter, a political agreement on FuelEU Maritime was also reached, which will ensure that more green fuels are blended into the tanks of our ships.

Now, all our attention is focused on the upcoming global decisions – starting with the summer meeting of the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO), where member states will need to agree on a new greenhouse gas strategy. In close collaboration with the Danish Maritime Authority, the government, and especially the Minister for Industry, Business, and Financial Affairs, we have worked diligently to secure support for the most ambitious regulation possible. We simply need other countries to join us in making shipping climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. This is where it matters.

Regardless of our work towards a climate-neutral future, there is a significant task at hand right now to increase the energy efficiency of our ships. The shipping companies are taking a substantial responsibility, assisted by the many innovative subcontractors we have in the maritime ecosystem in Denmark.

However, we still have too much CO2 in our atmosphere. That is why it was also historic when the talented people at the CCS partnership Greensand injected the first CO2 into the Danish subsurface in the North Sea. We need to scale up these solutions and obtain the necessary permits, but then it can become an invaluable contribution to achieving Denmark's and the EU's climate goals.

In line with our focus on green transformation, Danish shipping companies are investing in green newbuildings like never before. In the latest report, over half of the ships in the Danish shipping companies' order books were green. We expect the first e-methanol-powered ship under the Danish flag to be launched this summer.

There is reason for optimism. Danish shipping remains strong, and we are setting all sails to steer global shipping onto a climate-neutral course.

Jacob Meldgaard, CEO of TORM and Chairman of Danish Shipping

We simply need other countries to join us in making shipping climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. This is where it matters.
Jacob Meldgaard, CEO of TORM and Chairman of Danish Shipping

The Year in Brief

June 2022

Denmark votes 'yes' to abolish the defense opt-out, and Danish Shipping actively supported the abolition. This means, among other things, that Denmark can participate in EU-led anti-piracy missions.

July 2022

Despite the lowest number of enrollments in higher education since 2011, maritime education experiences only a minimal decline. 878 young people receive a positive response regarding a maritime education, only 30 fewer than the previous year.

August 2022

CEO of Danish Shipping, Anne H. Steffensen, is appointed as the chairperson of a new national partnership for the maritime sector by Minister of Defense Morten Bødskov. The partnership will explore opportunities to expand and maintain Danish shipbuilding capacity that can better support the defense needs in the maritime domain.


Biggest export industry in Denmark

The shipping industry is the biggest export industry in Denmark by a wide margin. Last year, we beat all records following exports exceeding DKK 500 bn. This surge was largely driven by unusually high freight rates following the COVID-19 pandemic.

More Than a Fourth of Total Exports

Danish shipping accounted for no less than 27 percent of Denmark's total exports in 2022.

Slight Bend in Graph

The number of Danish-flagged ships has taken a slight dip over the past year, primarily due to shipping companies divesting some ships, after which the buyers have opted to reflag. Nevertheless, the fleet remains significantly larger than ten years ago. Sometime this year, we expect to see the first Danish-flagged ships powered by e-methanol.

Among the Largest Seafaring Nations in the World

Measured in operated tonnage, Denmark ranks among the biggest seafaring nations in the world.

Number of Employees in Shipping Companies

Export Markets

Members of Danish Shipping export worldwide.