ECONOMY

Fewer ships flying the Greek flag

The Greek-flagged merchant fleet has shrunk by 52 ships and 790,156 deadweight tons this month compared with March 2010, according to Lloyd?s Register.

The British ship register company showed that the Greek register declined from 969 vessels, totaling 80.5 million dwt, to 917 ships with a capacity of 79.7 million dwt.

The main reason cited for the decline is Greek ship managers? fears about the fact that there is no single authority supporting the shipping industry in Greece anymore, such as the former Merchant Marine Ministry that was abolished in October 2009. The government appointed a maritime affairs minister late last year.

Yet despite the fall in the number of Greek-flagged vessels, the Greek-owned fleet is showing an increase in capacity, climbing from 258,121,898 dwt in March 2010 to 258,560,741 dwt in the same month this year, amounting to 14.6 percent of global capacity. However, there has been a drop in ship numbers, as the figure for Greek-owned vessels declined from 3,996 in March last year to 3,848 this month.