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Record 78 Greek shipowners control fleets over 1 million tonnes

Photo: Maran Gas Maritime Maran Gas Posidonia, one of the vessels in the Maran Gas Mariitime fleet
The number of Greek shipowners joining the ‘tonne millionaires’ club – controlling a fleet of 1 million dwt has reached a record 78.

Naftiliaki records and information gleaned from the market, reveal that at the beginning of May, the 78 companies from the Greek cluster owning fleets of over 1m dwt were
 trading 3,316 oceangoing ships.

This number is some 26
 ships down on the previous 12 months but the total of 355.8m dwt was an increase of just under 6m dwt and up some 12m dwt over 2021. It is considerably larger than the 2020 tonne-millionaire fleet of 338m dwt but still trailing the number of ships in the hands of Greece’s ‘tonne millonaires’ then. 

The general growth in the millioniares’ fleets reflects delivery of ships to Greek interests that were ordered since 2018 as well as purchases made in the secondhand market, a sector in which Greek owners have remained leading players for a number of years. 

Another feature is the turnover of fleets in the list. This year there are five new entries while three are missing, including the long-standing Eletson group which occupied position 68 last time round but has been in steady decline as the group has changed its focus from tankers to gas carriers. It’s current fleet of 23 vessels is 953,415 dwt. 

Diversity is a feature of the list. Twenty-one, up three this time round are dedicated fleets – 11 of them comprise bulk carriers only, eight operate tankers only, one of them container ships and one gas carriers though there is a handful who run energy ships, tankers and gas carriers.

Reflecting the 11 dedicated bulk carrier fleets there are a total 249 units run by bulker ‘tonne millionaires’. With the move to greener shipping and the flow of tanker newbuildings into the Greek fleet overall, the 1,222 tankers now being run is some 150 more than at the same time last year. There are 452 container ships, 143 LNGs up 20 ships, and a steady 113 LPGs. 

The Maran Group, built by the late John Angelicoussis and now led by his daughter Maria Angelicoussis continues to top the table by some distance, with Maran’s 144-ship fleet of some 27.31m dwt, 12 ships more and some 4.34m in capacity more than in 2021. The group first assumed the top position among Greek owners in 2003, when Angelicoussis operated 46 ships of 7.4m dwt. In that year there were 44 operators of fleets of over 1m dwt, demonstrating the growth of Greece’s leading owners in the past two decades.

Gone from the list is the Martinos family backed Signal Maritime Management, which has been judged a pure management company; and two long time members, Empire Navigation which occupied position 58 in 2022, but is now undergoing a reorganisation and longtime member, Eletson Corp, an energy trader which has refocused on the LPG trades. 

While the carrying capacity of Angelicoussis/Maran operation continues to lead the 'tonne milionaires' by a wide margin over the past 12 months the gap has been closed. The Angeliki Frangou / Navios stable is the largest in number of ships at 178, up 14 units and is 1.42m dwt up over the last 12 months.