BUSINESS

Greek merchant fleet bulks up

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping

Greek shipowners more than doubled the capacity of their combined fleet in the period 2007-18, according to the annual report of the Union of Greek Shipowners released on Tuesday.

Greek-owned ships represent nearly 21 percent of the global merchant fleet’s capacity and 53 percent of the European Union’s, with 4,936 ships over 1,000 gross tons and a total capacity of 389.69 million deadweight tons (dwt).

This makes Greek shipowners the largest group by nationality, although use of flags of convenience means that Greece’s is not the most prevalent flag used by the world’s merchant fleet.

Greek-owned ship capacity has risen 6.63 percent year-on-year, the report says.

Greek-owned ships also account for 31.99 of total tanker capacity, 23.12 percent of dry-goods ships and 15.17 of chemicals and petroleum products capacity.

Inflows of shipping money into Greece in 2018 were 16.629 billion euros, 14.89 percent higher than in 2017. That figure would be much higher if shipowners did not use flags of convenience to skirt regulations that increase operating costs.

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