ClassNK Retakes Top Classification Spot

In March 2014, the SLNC PAX, owned by Schuyler Line Navigation Company, became the first U.S.-flagged vessel to be classed by ClassNK. Photo courtesy SLNC
In March 2014, the SLNC PAX, owned by Schuyler Line Navigation Company, became the first U.S.-flagged vessel to be classed by ClassNK. Photo courtesy SLNC

International classification society ClassNK has retaken the top spot as the world’s largest classification society.

ClassNK Chairman and President Noboru Ueda released their 2014 registration statistics during its annual Japanese press conference held in Tokyo on March 17. The latest figures show that over 366 million deadweight tons are now registered with ClassNK, representing 21% of the world’s entire classed fleet and more than any other classification society in the world according to Clarkson’s. Despite a global decline in new orders, the number of newbuildings joining ClassNK continues to grow, with the society welcoming newbuildings totaling over 16 million gross tons to its register in 2014, or more than 25% of all newly built tonnage last year, ClassNK reports.

Earlier this year, ClassNK reported that at the end of December 2014, it had a total of 8,872 vessels on its register with a combined total of 232,871,435 gross tons. Of the 833 vessels added in 2014, 548 were newbuildings totaling 16,158,319 gt and 285 vessels were existing vessels with a total of 5,307,953 gt. In addition, 2014 marked the fourth straight year that it registered new tonnage in excess of 20 million gt, ClassNK reported.

“At ClassNK, we believe that nationality is not relevant to our customers,” said Mr. Ueda. “Shipowners and operators around the world select their classification society on the basis of the services delivered. These figures represent not only the growth of our organization, but also the trust we have gained from the maritime industry through consistently providing quality services.”

ClassNK retook the number one spot in terms of registered deadweight tons from DNV GL, which has held the position since the merger between DNV and Germanischer Lloyd in 2013.

In addition to ClassNK’s growth in registered tonnage, the class society is making significant contributions towards its maritime R&D activities. ClassNK says it is working with industry partners throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas on a wide variety of joint R&D projects focusing on the safety of ships at sea, protecting the marine environment, and developing technologies that enhance efficiency for the benefit of the entire maritime community.

“As an independent, non-profit organization we are able to invest all of our profits back into improving our services and providing the maritime industry with innovative solutions. We respond to our clients’ needs and when these needs change, our strategy is to adapt and invest to meet that change. We are always looking for ways to address new challenges, as well as enhance and expand our existing range of services and the maritime community has responded to this by continuing to choose ClassNK.”