Analysis and Studies - Products analysis

Passenger and Cargo Ships: import and export

Passenger and cargo ships have a long history that continues to evolve with technological advancements: it began in ancient times when wooden vessels were used for trade and exploration. Today, passenger ships are often associated with huge luxurious cruises, while cargo ships are notable for their large containers, a 20th century development that has greatly enhanced the efficiency of global trade.

In 2022, Passenger and Cargo Ships were the world's 51st most traded product, with a total trade of $72.2B, representing 0.3% of total world trade.

In 2022 the country which exported Passenger and Cargo Ships the most was China with a trade of $17.6B, ahead of South Korea ($16.1B), Japan ($9.4B), Germany ($4.57B), and Italy ($4.5B). Whereas the most significant importer was Liberia with a trade of $11.2B, followed by United States ($7.14B), Marshall Islands ($6.8B), Singapore ($6.76B), and Panama ($5.4B).

This graphic shows strategic economic partnerships, with major economies and maritime hubs playing significant roles as importers, reflecting both regional economic integration and broader dynamics of trade.


In fact, while China and South Korea have a wide range of countries worldwide in their portfolios, Japan is more focused on maritime registries. Germany’s exports are primarily directed towards western countries and Italy heavily relies on the United States and Switzerland.

  1. China (24.4%): 17.4% Liberia, 16.7% Singapore, 9.95% Panama, 8.39% Marshall Islands, 7.29% Hong Kong, 4.37% South Korea, 3.51% Poland, 2.73% Malta, 1.15% France, 0.39% United States
  2. South Korea (22.2%): 25.9% Liberia, 20.2% Marshall Islands, 9.76% Malta, 7.94% Singapore, 7.9% France, 4.81% Greece, 3.25% Panama, 2.11% Bahamas
  3. Japan (13%): 29.6% Panama, 27.7% Liberia, 12.7% Marshall Islands, 12.1% Singapore, 2.4% Bahamas, 2.4% South Korea, 1.53% Hong Kong, 1.5% Malta
  4. Germany (6.33%): 24.9% United Kingdom, 23% United States, 17.7% Liberia, 7.88% Singapore, 5.9% Marshall Islands, 2.76% France, 1.66% Hong Kong
  5. Italy (6.24%): 67.1% United States, 20.8% Switzerland. 2.59% France, 2.36% Marshall Islands, 1.36% Malta. 0.78% United Kingdom

 Most importers depend on a few primary suppliers, but they also show a diversified supply strategy by including secondary suppliers from Europe and other regions in their import portfolios.



East Asian shipbuilders lead the market, while the United States exhibits a unique pattern by sourcing most of its ships from European countries, highlighting strong transatlantic maritime trade connections.

  1. Liberia (15.6%): 37.1% South Korea, 27.4% China, 23.2% Japan, 7.2% Germany, 1.47% Denmark, 0.77% Poland
  2. United States (9.89%): 42.3% Italy, 26.9% France, 14.8% Germany, 14.5% Finland, 0.97% China
  3. Marshall Islands (9.42%): 47.7% South Korea, 21.8% China, 17.5% Japan, 3.97% Germany, 2.98% Denmark, 2.54% Cyprus, 1.57% Italy
  4. Singapore (9.37%): 43.6% China, 18.9% South Korea, 16.8% Japan, 6.05% India, 5.33% Germany, 3.63% Denmark, 1.59% Norway
  5. Panama (7.48%): 51.5% Japan, 32.5% China, 9.67% South Korea, 2.98% Denmark, 1.15% Poland, 012% Italy

 Between 2021 and 2022, the faster growing exporter was France with an increase of $2.54B, followed by China ($2.09B), Italy ($1.02B), Denmark ($663M), and India ($554M).



  1. France: from $630M to $3.17B
  2. China: from $15.5B to $17.6B
  3. Italy: from $3.48B to $4.5B
  4. Denmark: from $563M to 1.23B
  5. India: from $349M to $903M

Whereas the imports grew the fastest in the United States with an increase of $3.74B, ahead of Liberia ($3.1B), Singapore ($1.99B), United Kingdom ($682M), and Switzerland ($680M).



  1. United States: from $3.4B to$7.14B
  2. Liberia: from $8.13B to $11.2B
  3. Singapore: from $4.77B to $6.76B
  4. United Kingdom: from $810M to $1.49B
  5. Switzerland: from $1.59B to $2.27B