Press release
International shipping policy

Denmark Remains among the World's Top Ten Maritime Nations

Denmark maintains its impressive position among the world's top ten maritime nations. However, the 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. A new report from Danish Shipping confirms this, but it also shows that Denmark is slipping slightly in both operated tonnage and the number of ships under the Danish flag. 

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

"Denmark is a small country, but we are a maritime superpower. That is something to be proud of, even though we are slipping slightly in the rankings this time. Our position among the world's largest maritime nations means that Denmark speaks with greater weight on the international stage. For example, Denmark is closely 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. 

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.
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 this year. A similar 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 12th largest flag state in the world, closely followed by Portugal and Cyprus. 

"The Danish flag still signals high 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 looking forward to working on a new growth plan for “the Blue Denmark”, which the government has announced. 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. 

Facts:

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 capacities used as the basis for calculating a vessel's cargo-carrying capacity. "Operated tonnage" refers to the total cargo-carrying capacity of ships operated from Denmark (or controlled from shipping offices in Denmark).  

Ships under the Danish flag: Ships under the Danish flag display the Danish flag and are registered either in the Danish Register of Shipping (DAS) or the Danish International Register of Shipping (DIS).