At a press conference today, ECSA presented the results of a recent update of the Oxford Economics study on the economic value of the EU shipping industry, which highlights the industry’s important contribution to the EU economy based on new and more reliable data.
According to the study, the overall contribution of the European shipping industry to the EU’s GDP in 2013 is estimated to have been €147 billion. Moreover, for every €1 million the European shipping industry contributes to GDP itself, it creates another €1.6 million elsewhere in the European economy.
In terms of employment, the industry provided jobs to an estimated 2.2 million people both on board vessels and ashore in the wider maritime cluster. The industry directly employs more workers than the aviation sector, while, between 2004 and 2013, direct employment grew by 25%. Moreover, EU shipping is far more productive in terms of GDP generated per worker than the EU average.
‘Europe controls the world’s largest and most innovative fleet of ships’ remarked Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, adding ‘this very important fact is often overlooked despite the fact that it plays a key role in the economic impact of our industry on the European economy’.
As the study clearly shows, the ultimate ownership or control of 40% of the world’s gross tonnage lies in an EU country. What is more, the EU controlled fleet has grown strongly. Between the start of 2005 and the start of 2014, the EU controlled fleet expanded by more than 74% in tonnage, and by 72% in terms of deadweight tonnage.
The press conference, during which these figures were presented, took place on the eve of the European Shipping Week’s main conference entitled ‘Charting the route of EU shipping policy: An input to the EU maritime strategy review’, where the findings of the study will serve as input for the discussions between European shipowners and EU decision makers.