Table 1-23: Number and Size of the U.S. Flag Merchant Fleet and Its Share of the World Fleet

Table 1-23: Number and Size of the U.S. Flag Merchant Fleet and Its Share of the World Fleet

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(Oceangoing ships of 1,000 gross tons and over)

  1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 (R) 2004 (R) 2005 (R) 2006 (R) 2007 2008
World fleet 17,317 18,329 19,980 22,872 24,867 25,555 23,596 23,943 23,753 24,331 25,092 25,608 26,858 27,557 (R) 27,828 28,259 28,318 (R) 25,847 (R) 26,782 (R) 27,694 28,988 30,071 31,507 33,035 34,750
U.S. fleet 2,926 2,376 1,579 857 864 737 636 619 603 565 543 509 495 477 470 463 454 443 426 418 423 366 344 275 272
U.S. Percentage of the world fleet 16.9 13.0 7.9 3.7 3.5 2.9 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.3 2.2 2.0 1.8 1.7 (R) 1.7 1.6 1.6 (R) 1.7 (R) 1.6 (R) 1.5 1.5 1.2 1.1 0.8 0.8
Freighters, total 2,138 1,747 1,076 511 471 417 367 359 349 322 308 295 292 288 289 284 286 283 276 274 276 235 219 128 133
DWT (thousands) 21,877 18,127 11,733 7,051 6,885 7,353 7,265 7,156 7,211 7,040 6,866 6,517 6,419 6,458 6,732 6,696 6,680 6,635 (R) 6,402 (R) 6,521 6,817 5,769 5,417 4,099 4,122
General cargoa N N N 356 259 209 166 165 182 169 152 142 146 142 140 137 136 132 126 123 119 123 97 25 25
DWT (thousands)a N N N 4,640 3,329 2,980 2,605 2,592 2,973 2,913 2,677 2,472 2,467 2,420 2,400 2,404 2,362 2,162 (R) 1,838 (R) 1,810 1,755 1,805 1,389 280 285
Containership N N N 109 121 104 92 92 83 87 86 81 83 85 91 89 90 91 90 86 92 81 76 82 77
DWT (thousands) N N N 1,773 2,289 2,651 2,856 2,856 2,722 2,812 2,802 2,600 2,639 2,743 3,096 3,056 3,058 3,200 (R) 3,290 (R) 3,281 3,631 3,318 3,102 3,426 3,240
Partial containerships N N N 37 68 63 59 52 30 3 3 3 1 1 N N N N N N N N N N N
DWT (thousands) N N N 510 940 904 836 741 456 57 57 57 17 17 N N N N N N N N N N N
RO/Ro N N N 9 23 41 50 50 54 63 67 69 62 60 58 58 60 60 60 65 65 31 46 21 31
DWT (thousands) N N N 128 327 818 968 967 1,060 1,258 1,330 1,388 1,296 1,278 1,236 1,236 1,260 1,273 1,273 1,431 1,431 646 926 393 598
Tankers, total 422 341 294 267 308 258 233 226 220 210 200 181 173 161 154 154 142 130 120 109 108 94 89 62 57
DWT (thousands) 7,815 7,561 7,739 9,711 16,152 15,534 15,641 14,993 14,180 13,048 11,945 11,028 10,378 9,696 9,289 9,373 8,447 7,532 (R) 6,531 (R) 5,771 6,035 5,098 4,974 3,842 3,864
Petroleum/chemicalb ships N N N N N 244 219 212 206 196 186 167 159 148 145 146 142 130 U U U U U U U
DWT (thousands)b N N N N N 14,574 14,681 14,033 13,279 12,143 11,040 10,123 9,473 8,857 8,737 8,845 8,447 7,532 U U U U U U U
Liquefied petroleum/natural gas ships N N N N N 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 13 9 8 N N N N N N N N N
DWT (thousands) N N N N N 960 960 960 901 905 905 905 905 839 552 528 N N N N N N N N N
Combination/passenger and cargo, total 309 227 171 60 65 37 10 10 11 12 13 13 15 14 12 11 11 13 12 15 18 19 18 14 11
DWT (thousands) 2,070 1,488 1,107 388 446 299 91 92 97 104 115 115 139 136 116 99 99 105 (R) 100 (R) 91 108 100 98 46 9
Bulk carriers, total 57 61 38 19 20 25 26 24 23 21 22 20 15 14 15 14 15 17 18 20 21 18 18 71 71
DWT (thousands) 805 1,107 767 544 607 1,152 1,270 1,014 991 949 1,042 925 575 321 604 579 604 706 (R) 797 (R) 837 889 543 543 2,340 2,242

KEY: DWT = deadweight tons; N = data do not exist; R = revised; RO/RO = roll-on/roll-off vessels; U = data are unavailable.

a Includes barge carriers.

b Includes integrated tug/barges.

NOTES

Excludes non-merchant type and/or U.S. Navy-owned vessels currently in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Excludes ships operating exclusively on the Great Lakes and inland waterways and special types such as: channel ships, icebreakers, cable ships, and merchant ships owned by military forces.

1960-2006 data includes private and government owned vessels of 1,000 gross tons and over. Beginning in 2007, data are reported only for privately-owned vessels of 1,000 gross tons and over.

All data are year-end data, except that 2004 data for Freigher are as of July 1, 2004..

SOURCES

World fleet:

1994: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Merchant Fleets of the World (Washington, DC: Annual issues), and unpublished revisions.

All other years: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, personal communication as of June 2010.

All other categories:

1960-2000: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Merchant Fleets of the World (Washington, DC: Annual issues), and unpublished revisions.

2001-08: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, personal communication as of Janurary 2008 and June 2010.