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Greek shipowners control 21% of global tonnage

Photo: Marcus Hand Greek owned Navios Devotion in Singapore waters
Greece remains the world’s leading shipowning nation and the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) 2022 – 2023 annual report says that the country’s owners’ control 21% of the global merchant fleet in deadweight tonnage terms.

The 5,520-vessel strong Greek merchant fleet having grown by 50% in the last 10 years. Further, the report notes that Greeks are investing heavily in newbuildings, with 241 vessels on order in April 2023, of approximately 19m dwt, attesting to Greek owners currently  being among frontrunners in shipping’s transformation.

It is estimated that more than 40% of eco-friendly oil tankers and 16% of LNG carriers being built today will be delivered to Greeks. As a result, the average age of the Greek-owned fleet is around 10 years, lower than the global average of almost 11 years.

According to the UGS data, for the most strategic ship type categories, Greek owners control more than 70% of the total capacity of the EU-controlled fleet. Actually, they control 80% of the EU-controlled bulk carriers, 73% of the EU-controlled oil tankers, 85% of the EU-controlled LNG carriers and 17% of the EU-controlled container ships. More than a third of the Greek-owned fleet flies an EU member state flag, further supporting the sector's added value to the EU economy.

At a national level, Greek shipping remains a strategic advantage, with the overall impact of maritime transport on the Greek economy being 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while it creates directly and indirectly hundreds of thousands of jobs in Greece. More importantly, shipping provides large monetary inflows to the Greek economy.

According to the UGS report, in 2022 inflows to the Greek Balance of Payments by sea transport surpassed EUR21 billion, the largest contribution recorded in the last 20 years. For the period 2012-2022 shipping contributed EUR148 billion of inflows to the Greek economy, highlighting the pivotal role of the sector for Greece.

Greek shipping is the main facilitator of the transport of essential goods in terms of dwt controlling  31.27% of the world oil tanker fleet, 25.32% of the world bulk carriers, 22.65% of LNG carriers, 15.79% of chemical and product tankers, 11.46% of LPG carriers and 8.92% of the world containerships.