Greece is in the world's top 10 shipping centres

Lambridis Piraeus

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The world's top shipping centres for 2020 was published by Chinese state news agency - Xinhua in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange.

This is the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD) 2020.


Singapore maintained its number one position as an international shipping hub for the 7th consecutive year. The index for Greece mentions Athens as the 8th biggest shipping centre, obviously a reflection of Piraeus.

In 2019 it was in 10th place.

The top 5 international shipping centres remain the same compared to 2019, although with some changes:

  • Singapore is in first place for the seventh consecutive year followed by London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai.
  • London and Dubai are the only top 5 international shipping centres outside of East Asia, with London moving up one place from third to second.
  • Continuous rise of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, with Dubai maintaining fifth place, while Athens-Piraeus rose to eighth place.
  • As the largest container port, Shanghai entered the top three for the first time. Hong Kong fell to fourth place mainly due to reduced cargo handling.
  • In addition, Dubai, as the leading shipping hub in the Middle East, ranked fifth for the third consecutive year.
  • Rotterdam and Hamburg remain in the same position 6th and 7th respectively from 2018, New York-New Jersey fell by one place to 9th from 8th, while Tokyo rose one place, returning to the top 10 places leaving out Houston.

Shipping is Greece's most important industry, even more so than tourism, worth $21.9 billion in 2018. Including related businesses to shipping, the industry employs about 392,000 people, or 14% of the workforce.

Greece has a long seafaring history spanning thousands of years, and even though Greece is a small country with a low population, Greece has the world's largest merchant fleet in tonnage.

The European Community Shipowners' Association report for 2013–2014 found that the Greek flag is the first-most-used internationally for shipping.