Ship size

  • The Equasis fleet is dominated by small and medium sized ships up to 24.999 GT (80%).
  • Small ships alone represent 37% by number, although around only 1% by tonnage.
  • Tugs (20.4%), general cargo ships (17.9%), oil and chemical tankers (14.8%) and bulk carriers (13.0%) are the four most common ship types by number, representing about two thirds of the Equasis fleet. Most of these are small and medium sized ships.
  • The 2017 data does not include fishing vessels with an IMO number – these vessels were only added to the Equasis database in 2018.
  • Within the large and very large categories, bulk carriers (43.0%), oil and chemical tankers (25.2%) and container ships (16.4%) represent approximately 85% of the fleet in number in these ship size categories.
  • In terms of tonnage, the large and very large size categories represent 82% of the Equasis fleet, with oil and chemical tankers, bulk
  • carriers, and container ships jointly dominating both categories at 84.3% (large) and 82.5% (very large).

Ship age

  • There is a large dominance of older ships in the small and medium ship size categories.
  • The trend is reversed in the large and very large ship size categories, where 77.9% (large) and 83.0% (very large) are less than 15 years old.
  • The most modern fleets are made up of the biggest ships in tonnage. Looking back at the statistics of the previous years, it is clear that the younger ships are bigger than their predecessors. This trend has been observed in previous years with the biggest ships being recent additions to the fleet.
  • Over a third (36%) of the total number of ships in Equasis are associated with a targeted flag State. Graphs 17 and 19 show that this proportion is lower for large ships (32%) and very large ships (32%).

Ship type

  • For the targeted flag States, general cargo ships are the most common ship category in number (28.9%), but bulk carriers are the most common ship type category by tonnage (39.8%). This is expected considering that these two ship types are the most common with respect to the total number of ships and tonnage (20.9% and 34.6%, respectively).
  • Even though, in number of ships general cargo, bulk carriers and oil and chemical tankers are similar (20.9%, 20.1%, 20.2%, respectively), general cargo ships are clearly more common in targeted flags (28.9%, 21.5%, 18.9%, respectively).
  • Oil and chemical tankers (21.0%), container ships (9.8%) and offshore vessels (11.7%) have a larger proportion of the total number of ships originating from non-targeted flag States when compared to targeted flag States.

Geographical data

  • The majority of maritime traffic occurs in the Mediterranean Sea (13.1%) and Asia (37.5%), with both geographical areas accounting for 50% of the total sightings reported to Equasis.
  • In respect to ship size, small sized ships were predominately sighted in the Mediterranean Sea (24.7%) while very large ships in Asia (40.2%).

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