Market Share of the Shipbuilding Industry in Japan
  • Market Share

Market Share of the Shipbuilding Industry in Japan

This page analyzes the market share and market size of the shipbuilding industry in Japan. It also includes an overview of major Japanese shipbuilders such as Imabari Shipbuilding, Japan Marine United, Namura Shipbuilding, Oshima Shipbuilding, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Mitsui E&S Holdings, Shin Kurushima Dockyard, Kawasaki Heavy Industry, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding.

Market share of the Japanese Shipbuilding Industry in 2019

Using the sales of the shipbuilders listed in the “Latest Ranking of Sales by Industry” as the numerator and the market size of the industry described below as the denominator, a simple calculation of Japanese shipbuilder industry market share in 2019 yields the following rankings.

  • No.1 Imabari Shipbuilding 33.4%
  • No.2 Japan Marine United 16.7%
  • No.3 Namura Shipbuilding 10.0%
  • No.4 Oshima Shipbuilding 8.5%
  • No.5 Mitsubishi Shipbuilding 5.2%
  • No.6 Mitsui E&S Holdings 4.7%
  • No.7 Shin Kurushima Dockyard 4.6%
  • No.8 Kawasaki Heavy Industry 3.3%
  • No.9 Tsuneishi Shipbuilding 3.1%

Market size

This website uses data published by various research companies to calculate the market share of the shipbuilding industry, assuming a global market size of 16.21 million tonnage in 2019. The data used for reference is as follows. According to the research firm Japan Maritime Center, the world’s total shipbuilding tonnage in 2019 was 66.33 million gross tons, or 5,783 vessels of which 16.21 million gross tons were built in Japan, 23.22 million gross tons in China, 21.74 million gross tons in Korea, and 5.15 million gross tons in other countries and regions.
According to the Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan, the total sales of new ships in 2019 for the association’s member companies is 1.4 trillion yen.

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Trends in major shipbuilders

Imabari Shipbuilding

Imabari Shipbuilding, founded in 1901 and headquartered in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, is one of the largest shipbuilders in Japan. It is a privately held family-owned company controlled by the Higaki family. The company has been promoting consolidation of domestic businesses and has successively integrated shipbuilding companies in western Japan, mainly in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions, with Koyo Dockyard in 2014, Tadotsu Shipbuilding in 2015, and Minami Nippon Shipbuilding in 2018. The company’s strength lies in building bulk carriers and tankers. In order to compete with Chinese and South Korean shipbuilders, it formed a capital alliance with Japan Marine United in 2020.

Japan Marine United

Japan Marine United is a shipbuilding company that was created in 2013 through the business integration of IHI Marine United and Universal Shipbuilding, which was formed by the merger of the shipbuilding divisions of Hitachi Zosen and JFE. At the time of its establishment, JFE Holdings held a 45.93% stake, IHI 45.93%, and Hitachi Zosen 8.15%. The company is involved in large ships such as container ships and tankers, as well as naval ships, passenger ships, and small ships.

Namura Shipbuilding

Namura Shipbuilding is a shipbuilding company established in 1931. Namura Shipbuilding is specialized in the construction of bulk carriers and VLCCs, and has been a key player in the restructuring of the shipbuilding industry, having acquired Hakodate Dock in 2008 and Sasebo Heavy Industries in 2014.

Oshima Shipbuilding

Oshima Shipbuilding is a shipbuilding company established in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1973. At the time of its establishment, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation were the major shareholders. The company specializes in building bulk carriers.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding is a shipbuilding subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), established in 2018 as a spin-off of the Shipbuilding & Ocean Development Division of MHI. The company owns shipyards in Yokohama, Nagasaki, Kobe, and Shimonoseki. In 2019, the company announced that it will sell its Koyagi shipyard in Nagasaki Prefecture to Oshima shipyard. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also builds destroyers for the Ministry of Defense.

Mitsui E&S Holdings

Mitsui E&S Holdings is a heavy industrial manufacturer in the Mitsui Group, engaged in shipbuilding, machinery and plants. Mitsui E&S Holdings has MODEC, the world’s leading FPSO manufacturer, as a subsidiary. In 2020, Mitsui E&S Holdings is considering a capital alliance with Tsuneishi Shipbuilding in the merchant ship business and the sale of its battleship business to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Shin Kurushima Dockyard

Shin Kurushima Dockyard is a shipbuilding company that specializes in high value-added vessels such as car carriers and chemical carriers.

Kawasaki Heavy Industry

Kawasaki Heavy Industry is one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of heavy electric machinery. The Shipbuilding & Ocean Development Company is responsible for the shipbuilding business, which includes merchant ships and warships. The company has shipyards in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture and Sakaide in Kagawa Prefecture in Japan.
Nantong Zhongyuan Kawasaki Ship Engineering Company Limited (NACKS) and Dalian Yuan Kawasaki Ship Engineering Company Limited (DACKS) in China, and Enseada Indústria Naval Company Limited (Salvador, Bahia) in Brazil are overseas shipyard JVs.

Tsuneishi Shipbuilding

Tsuneishi Shipbuilding is one of Japan’s leading shipbuilders of bulk carriers, headquartered in Hiroshima, Japan. The company has shipyards in the Philippines and China.


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