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Live from Posidonia

Marshall Islands flag surges ahead with Greek shipowners

Marshall Islands flag surges ahead with Greek shipowners
The Marshall Islands flag is celebrating having pushed by the 100m gt mark globally this week at Posidonia 2014, boosted by its strong presence in the Greek market which accounts for roughly 25% of its fleet.  

“We’re number two now in the Greek market second only to the Greek register and that’s a great achievement, when I joined 14 years ago I don’t think we were number 10,” Theo Xenakoudis, worldwide business operations officer for International Registries Inc (IRI) based in Piraeus. IRI administers the Marshall Islands Registry worldwide.

Last year was another year of good growth for the registry far outstripping other flags. “For the year of 2013 we registered more ships than all the other flags added together. We gained 123 ships from Greek owners totaling 6.5m gt,” he said. “That shows the trend among Greek shipowners towards the Marshall Island flag.”

One of the driving forces of the Marshall Islands growth has been IRI’s global network of offices. “I think what the big shipowners enjoy is the service provided by the office which is 35 people now,” Xenakoudis said.

Although celebrating hitting the 100m gt mark the registry has already grown to 105m gt and IRI expects this to rise 110m to 115m by the end of 2014.

Bill Gallagher president of IRI reassures that even though the flag has grown to pass the 100m gt it will continue to look to improve its services. “We’re not going to stand still and sit on our laurels, oh we’ve hit 100m tonnes, we’re going to continually look at what we do.”