Greek shipping grows larger and younger

Greek shipowners placed orders for 91 new ships worth $9.4 billion and bought 98 used ships of all kinds, worth $3 billion, in the first seven months of 2011.

They currently have 654 ships under construction (310 in Korea, 298 in China, 22 in Japan and the rest elsewhere), totaling a capacity of 63.2 million deadweight tons.

Chinese shipowners, by contrast, invested a total of only $2.4 billion in the same period, according to a survey by Clarksons.

The Greek-owned fleet in June numbered 4,714 vessels, from 4,655 a year earlier. Of these, only 2,046 were Greek-flagged (compared to 2,126 in June 2010), comprising 567 cargo vessels, 544 tankers, 705 ferry boats and 230 ships of various other categories. Greek-managed shipping companies with vessels up to nine years old rose to 151 in 2011, from 30 in 1998.

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