Keeping Germany competitive: Supporting the ability to survive

Almost half a million jobs in Germany depend directly or indirectly on the shipping sector. It generates more than 30 billion euros in value added for Germany and Europe – including 1.2 billion euros in the form of taxes and social security contributions alone. The shipping industry is continuing to steadily grow worldwide – and Germany remains one of the world’s major shipping nations. Keeping it so will require the concerted efforts of all parties involved. 

In order to continue to lead in a fierce global market, German shipping must be able to compete on an international level. Many nations are striving to boost their economic growth and to make themselves a more attractive location for shipping activities. They are seeking to attract direct investment from foreign shipping companies and highly skilled maritime professionals. Now more than ever, good training is a competitive factor for cutting-edge industries – and the “battle for the best minds” is also being fought in shipping.

Port of Hamburg: Germany remains an attractive location for maritime shipping (© pixabay)


At the same time, foreign shipping companies often benefit from considerable competitive advantages in many forms, such as by receiving direct state support for the settling or relocation of businesses or by enjoying more favourable taxation systems, better access to capital and lower labour costs. Many non-EU countries have put together packages with attractive economic framework conditions specifically for shipping companies and other maritime service providers.

Another factor is capital, which is mobile, and therefore, changes in tax regulation can quickly have major impacts on a business location, whether positive or negative. Although this applies to all international industries, it particularly holds true for the globally oriented maritime shipping sector. Like every other company, a shipping company that operates merchant vessels also has to ultimately take all cost factors into account. And as globalisation continues to advance, the competitive pressure felt from maritime hubs all over the world is increasing.