How Many Ships Fly Old Glory? You may be suprised.
There are 33,222 large ships in service worldwide, how many do you think are U.S. Flagged?
It is common knowledge that our large merchant marine and shipyard capacity provided the supplies our troops needed to win WWII. In fact 1 in 26 mariners serving aboard merchant ships in World WW II died in the line of duty, suffering a greater percentage of war-related deaths than all other U.S. services. It is also interesting to note that the United States Merchant Marine Academy is the only one of our five military academies that will send its cadets into war, and has lost 142 of those cadets since World War II.
With China last week announcing a 14% increase in their military budget and uncertainty growing worldwide do we have the maritime capacity to fight another large scale war? Just how many merchant ships does the United States have? How does this compair to the rest of the world?
With help from IBM's Many Eyes visualization tool gCaptain has charted the world's Merchant Fleets by county of registry. While many shipping companies (including American ones) simply register their ships with the countries having the lowest tax rate (called Flags of Convenience because the ships fly that country's flag off the stern while in port) these companies have little legal obligation to support one particular country.
Now for the the answer & Interactive Visulizations: Countries Ranked by Number of Merchant Ships.
John Konrad is a USCG licensed Master Mariner of Unlimited Tonnage currently working as Chief Mate aboard a 835′ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Since graduating from SUNY Maritime College he has sailed in 4 of the worlds oceans and reports from his ship via satellite.