Greeks, the undisputed global leaders in shipping

Greek shippers control more than one-fifth of the world’s entire fleet, and continue expanding

Greeks, the undisputed global leaders in shipping

Greece remains the global leader in shipping, as Greek shipowners control 5,514 vessels or 21% of the global fleet in deadweight ton (dwt) terms. The total capacity of the Greek-owned fleet has actually grown 45.8% from 2014, and since the outbreak of the pandemic its capacity has grown by 7.4%, according to the data in the annual report of the Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE).

The report notes that considering the Greek-controlled fleet ships loads between third countries in more than 98% of its shipping capacity, it is the biggest cross-border forwarder in the world.

On a national level, Greek shipping remains a strategic advantage, which is particularly important to the country’s economy: Maritime transport contributes more than 3% of gross added value and comes up to almost 7% of gross domestic product (directly and indirectly), offering some 200,000 jobs, per the EEE report.

Shipping also offers significant net inflows to the Greek economy: In 2021 inflows in the Greek payments balance from maritime transport not only exceeded the 2019 levels, following the 2020 recession from the pandemic, but were also the highest recorded since 2008, topping 17 billion euros.

The Greek-owned fleet accounts for 59% of the European Union fleet and a third of it bears an EU flag.

Greek shipowners are constantly investing in new, energy-efficient vessels and environmentally friendly equipment. The average age of the Greek-controlled fleet (at 9.99 years) is below the global average of 10.28 years, EEE data show.

Shipbuilding orders by Greeks amount to 173 vessels (up from 104 last year), corresponding to 17.3 million dwt. Over a third of tankers to be delivered will go to Greek companies.

“As a leader, Greek shipping makes the most of its accumulated know-how and remains a pioneer in developments, always offering realistic proposals and substantial targets, such as the research and development of alternative fuels that are environmentally friendly,” said EEE President Melina Travlos.

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