Shanghai ranked fourth among International Shipping Centres for the second consecutive year, according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index published in Shanghai on Thursday.

The index evaluates the development level of international shipping centre cities based on port conditions, shipping services and general environment.

Shanghai was ranked behind Singapore, Hong Kong and London. The metropolis was also closing in on London in terms of shipping development levels, according to the index report.

In terms of shipping services, which is one of the core factors determining the competitiveness of shipping centres, Shanghai surpassed Hong Kong for the first time to take the third position.

The development of top international shipping centres remains generally stable over the years, while the rising trend of shipping centres in Asia is becoming increasingly evident, according to the report.

“With an ever-increasing proportion of trade moving in, out of and around Asia, it is to be expected that the great port cities of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai should see ever more maritime businesses attracted to them,” said Mark Jackson, Chief Executive of Baltic Exchange.

According to Jackson, the results of the index reveal the impact of the Belt & Road Initiative and the development of intra-Asia trade.

The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index was jointly developed by the China Economic Information Service under Xinhua News Agency and the Baltic Exchange. It has been released for six consecutive years since 2014. This year for the first time, it was released simultaneously in Shanghai, London and Singapore.