Like all major ferry companies in Greece, Crete-based Anek Lines is battling to sea of red ink, having just reported a loss of $28.83m in the 2014 January / June period, but its boss John Vardinoyiannis is recognised as one who seizes an opportunity.

Over 720 immigrants have been saved by Greek aframax tankers from over-crowded boats in rescue operations off Libya in recent weeks.

Greek shipowners have been the largest investors in newbuildings since 2010 according to Bimco shipping analyst Peter Sand.

George Economou has urged all Greek shipowners to look at getting involved in the offshore sector as the margins are better than for conventional shipping.

With a week to go until Posidonia 2014 we take a look at the Greek shipping fleet and numbers tell the story. Greeks control 16.25 % of the world fleet and 46.7 % of the EU fleet in terms of dwt capacity.

The role played by private equity funds (PEF) in keeping Greek shipping financed is underlined in the status of lending to the world’s largest fleet by Petrofin Bank Research.

Though the freight market is now more positive, the number of shipping companies finding themselves stretched for cash is also increasing. Further, banks are not lending the money which would enable struggling owners more breathing space or allow those in better shape to take advantage of the opportunities before asset prices begin to rise.

Greek shipowners in Piraeus and London have slammed the Athens’ government’s latest ship tax legislation as a triple tax and “unconstitutional”.

The Hellenic Chamber of Shipping has launched a stinging attack on the Greek government over its tax plans, warning of an exodus shipowners.

Greek shipping is a business involving conservatives who traditionally take calculated, and very carefully calculated, risks. Indeed, this mixture is what has not only carried the Greek shipping community to the top of its profession, it is also a prime reason why Greece’s ocean-going shipping is very reluctant to work too closely with the government.

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