Greek-owned fleet declines for first time in a decade

Though Greek owners continue to rule the global roost when fleet size and asset value, due to the unstable market conditions and new regulatory requirements, for the first time in decade on an annual basis in the 12 months to the beginning of March the size of the Greek-controlled fleet recorded a decline year-on-year.

For the 32nd consecutive year the London-based Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee (GSCC) statistical data gathered in conjunction with IHS Markit, on Greek-controlled ships over 1,000 gt records that on March 6 the Greek controlled fleet has decreased a shade in terms of number of vessels, deadweight and gross tonnage.

According to the data, Greek interests controlled 4,017 vessels of various categories, of 339,549,357 dwt and 198,164,080 gt a decrease of 131 vessels, 2.376m dwt and 1.122m gt including 156 vessels on order from shipyards, of 17.22m dwt and 11.81m gt.

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The fleet under the Greek flag hoisted over its stern has decreased in terms of ships, dwt and gt and now comprises 671 ships, of 68,26m dwt and 39.98m gt.

The Greek controlled fleet is registered under some 33 flags. In the 12 months, Liberia gained 16 ships and Marshall Islands 14. On the other hand, the data shows decreases have been recorded in the number of vessels flying the Cypriot, Panamanian and Maltese flags – down 26, 18, and seven ships, respectively. The Greek flag, recorded a loss of 52 ships of 6.257m dwt, and 3.411m gt. Minor changes have been noted for all other flags.

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Overall, the GSCC data shows the Liberia and Marshall Island flags are neck and neck with 840 and 838 Greek owned ships, respectively, with 72.532m dwt representing 21,3% and Marshall Islands is just over 68m dwt, or 20% of the total of the Greek owned fleet.

The Greek flag with 671 ships of 68.26m dwt, is no longer the largest in terms of dwt, as it represents 20.1% of the total Greek-owned dwt. Malta has 687 ships of 63.58m dwt, Panama 337 ships of 2.26m dwt, Cyprus 248 ships of 19.03m dwt, and the Bahamas with 222 ships of 18.97m dwt.

Currently there are 36 oil tankers on order for Greek owners, 20 chemical/ product tankers, 39 liquefied gas tankers, 49 ore and bulk carriers and 12 container ships.

Greek parent companies represent 26.9% of the world tanker fleet and 15.5% of the ore and bulk fleet. Overall, the Greek-owned fleet, stands at 7.2% of the world fleet in terms of ship numbers, 13.4% in gt terms and 15.9% in terms of dwt.

The Greek-flag fleet as a percentage of the world fleet, in terms of ships, gt, and dwt is 1.2%, 2.7% and 3.2% respectively, however, for oil tankers it is 7.6%, 8% and 8.2% respectively. Oil tankers are an exception, with a slight increase both in dwt and ship numbers in relation to the world fleet in 2018. Liquefied gas carriers recorded an increase in dwt and a slight decrease in ships.

Average age of the Greek fleet increased slightly over the 12 months but continues to be 2.5 years below the world average age, at 11.2 years compared to 13.7 years. In terms of gt and dwt, it is 9.6 and 9.5 years respectively, against 9.6 and 9.3 of the world fleet. Average age of the Greek-flag fleet recorded a slight increase, in ship age, gt and dwt, standing at 13.4, 9.7 and 9.6 years respectively against 12.2, 8.9 and 8.8 years in 2018.

According to the data, six societies class the bulk of the Greek-controlled fleet. LR has 809 ships, down 27; ABS 781 ships, the same; ClassNK 709 ships down 37; BV: 679 ships, up two; DNV GL, 599 ships, down 56; and RINA 215 ships, up 10. However, ABS comes first in terms of dwt and gt.

When it come to the Greek-flag fleet, 185 ships are to ABS class, down 17 ships; LR, 164 down 30; DNV GL, 108 down two; Rina, 77, down five; BV, steady at 64; and ClassNK and CCS, both steady at 17.

Posted 13 March 2019

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David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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