Unfazed by the pandemic, Greek shipowners continue expanding their fleet up to over 4,000 units
Greek shipowners were highly active in the last year’s newbuildings, and vessel sales and purchases, peaking at all-time high of 1,000 gt. London-based Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee’s (GSCC) latest data revealed Greek interests controlled 4,038 vessels of just on 350.5m dwt and 205.65m gt.
Greek’s fleet movements
The Greek-owned fleet represents 7.1 per cent of the world’s ships, 13.3 per cent in terms of gt and 15.8 per cent of dwt. It is notable Greek parent companies represent 26.5 per cent of the world’s tanker fleet and 14.9 per cent of the ore and bulk carrier fleet.
IHS Markit recently presented GSCC’s breakdown of the Greek-controlled fleet. Compared with the previous year, the fleet grew by 70 vessels, 9.64m dwt and 5.95m gt, including 134 vessels of various types on order of 17.8m dwt. While the carrying capacity is now at a record level, the fleet is 110 vessels short of the 4,148 units in 2018, with an additional 8.5m dwt.
Greek-flagged vessels declined in both gt and dwt; with current count at 36.623m gt and 62.32m dwt across 584 ships, from 636 at 38.8m gt and 65.64m dwt in 2020. The fleet is registered under 29 flags, three fewer than last year.
To date, Liberia and Marshall Island flags are leading with 931 and 877 ships respectively. In terms of dwt, Liberia is at 87.22m representing 24.9 per cent of the total, while Marshall Islands is at 71.3m representing 20.3 per cent of the total dwt. Malta follows at 658 ships of 61.46m, ahead of Greece in ships but not dwt.
Compared with the corresponding time last year Panama gained 44 ships, Liberia added 65, Marshall Islands at 27 ships, Singapore with 5 and 1 for Bahamas. On the other hand, Cypriot, Maltese and Hong Kong flags fell to 24, 15 and 1 respectively.
Declined vessel longevity
While Greek vessels’ average age increased, it continues to be 2.4 years below world average – standing at 12.1 years against 14.5 years for the world fleet. In terms of gt and dwt, it is 10.3 and 10.2 years respectively, as against 10.5 and 10.2 years for the world fleet. Average age of the Greek-flag ships increased to 13.9 years against 13.7 years in 2020.
Six class societies possess the majority of the Greek controlled fleet: LR: 778 ships (794 ships in 2020 of); ABS: 751 ships (759); ClassNK: 744 ships (690); BV: 671 ships (685); DNV GL: 640 ships (615 ships) and RINA: 229 ships (193). Although LR tops in terms of vessels, ABS leads in terms of dwt and gt.
The expansion has been boosted this year. A survey showed Greek owners splashed out $1.44 billion buying 98 ships since 1 January ahead of Chinese interests who purchased 78 vessels for $871.3 mllion. In the first 11 weeks of 2021, the Greeks sold 60 units for $753 million. Many of the Greek buys came from Japanese companies which sold 60 vessels for $866.5 million.