The 2022 edition of the Leading Maritime Cities (LMC) report was launched today at an event hosted by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), providing fresh insights into which global hubs offer the best infrastructure, technology, finance, and world-class talent, to help the maritime community connect and prosper.
There have been many dramatic developments since the last edition of the LMC report was published in 2019. For one, we are still living with the pandemic. Two years of fluctuating restrictions have caused severe trade and travel upsets. Extreme weather events have made us all more acutely aware of the climate crisis, another major driver of change. Shipowners, charterers, cargo owners and lenders are gearing up for a decarbonized future, with the rapid adoption of zero-carbon fuels expected over the next decade. Ongoing digitalization, including ports and the supply chain, will drive efficiency in support of this transition.
“Maritime cities and clusters are generating unique strategies to cope with these global transformations. They will play a leading role in the green shift, with new business models that drive the transition,” says DNV Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen.
The LMC report is compiled in cooperation between classification society DNV and Menon Economics. As before, it benchmarks each maritime city based on five key pillars – Shipping, Maritime Finance & Law, Maritime Technology, Ports & Logistics and Attractiveness & Competitiveness.
Singapore’s strong performance across the board sees it retain its number 1 spot overall. “Singapore holds the top slot for Attractiveness & Competitiveness while also scooping the Maritime Technology title, thanks to the city-state’s unrelenting focus on digital transformation. Singapore gives way to Athens and Shanghai in Shipping and Ports & Logistics respectively, and losing some ground in Maritime Finance & Law,” notes Dr Shahrin Osman, Regional Head of Maritime Advisory at DNV and the report’s co-author.
Two European cities feature in the top three as well. “Rotterdam’s 2nd place demonstrates that it’s a maritime city on the rise. Although only 10th in Shipping, the Dutch hub scores well overall and particularly in Ports & Logistics and Attractiveness & Competitiveness. London is also among the top contenders, from 5th to 3rd place overall, however it has lost out its previous top slot in Maritime Finance & Law to New York,” says Dr Shahrin Osman.
Fourth and 5th place overall go-to Asian counterparts Shanghai followed by all-rounder Tokyo.
“The 2022 analysis uses some new and more comprehensive objective and subjective indicators, as well as data sources, for each pillar. This facilitates more refined benchmarking of the relative performance of each city,” explains Menon partner Dr Erik W Jakobsen, who is the co-author of the report.
Subjective indicators reveal the perceptions and assessments of 280 invited business executives – mostly shipowners and managers – from around the world. Looking five years ahead, they predict that Singapore will remain number 1, with Shanghai coming in 2nd. London, Oslo and Rotterdam are seen as leading the field in Europe, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi competing hard in the Middle East, India and Africa region. Dubai is predicted to grab 6th place overall by 2027.
The experts see Singapore, Oslo, Shanghai and Copenhagen as best prepared for digital transformation, while Oslo tops the list for sustainable technologies and solutions for the oceans, followed by Singapore and Copenhagen.