A study published by Oxford Economics has found that the shipping industry contributed €147 billion to the European Union economy in 2013.
The data, which was prepared for the European Community Shipowners’ Associations is said to highlight the importance of the shipping industry to EU economy.
As well as contributing hundreds of billions, ECSA said that the study showed that for every €1 million spent by the European shipping industry, it creates another €1.6 million elsewhere in the EU economy.
"Europe controls the world's largest and most innovative fleet of ships,” said Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General.
"This very important fact is often overlooked despite the fact that it plays a key role in the economic impact of our industry on the European economy."
The study also revealed that between 2005 an 2014 the fleet controlled by the EU increased by 72 percent in terms of deadweight tonnage, and that the ultimate control or ownership of 40 percent of the gross tonnage of the world lay in an EU country.
In addition, the findings revealed that in respect to employment, the EU maritime sector employs 615,000 people, with 501,000 of those jobs based at sea. EU Shipping is also more productive when looking at the GDP generated per worker in comparison to the EU average. Each employee is estimated to have generated approximately €85,000 of GDP, a figure far above the EU average of €53,000.
The findings were revealed at a ECSA press conference during European Shipping Week 2015.