Shipowners turn to newer vessels of higher capacity

Shipowners flying the Greek flag have turned toward vessels of greater capacity in the last 12 months, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

September 2012 data showed that the fleet on the country’s register posted a capacity increase of 1.5 percent from September 2011, while the number of ships dropped 3.2 percent. The combined capacity of the Greek fleet amounted to 43,993,381 tons this September against 43,356,420 tons in the same month last year. However there were 65 fewer ships than last year, as the fleet numbered 1,962 vessels of over 100 gross tons, against 2,027 units in September 2011.

Another significant trend is the gradual reduction of the average age of Greek-flagged ships – now at 10.5 years against an international average of 12.5 years – thanks to the continued efforts of Greek shipowners to renew their fleets despite the global financial crisis. In September 2012 the Greek register accounted for 780 ships aged up to 15 years with a total capacity of 35,056,016 tons, compared with 812 vessels up to 15 years old totaling 33,723,778 tons a year earlier.

As far as the profile of the Greek-flagged fleet is concerned, ELSTAT data illustrates that in September 2012 there were 545 dry-bulk carriers in the country’s register with a total capacity of 16,341,366 tons, 532 tankers totaling 26,218,498 tons, 659 passengers ships adding up to 1,370,492 tons, and 226 ships of other types with a capacity of 63,025 tons.

By contrast, in September 2011 the Greek flag was flying on 560 dry-bulk carriers with a capacity of 16,035,854 tons, 539 tankers adding up to 25,754,363 tons, 731 passenger ships totaling 1,601,980 tons, and 230 ships of other types with a total capacity of 63,361 tons.

Greek shipowners’ shift toward ships with greater capacity is also evident in the figures relating to tonnage categories, where only very large ships are showing a rise in numbers. In September this year there were 1,251 ships between 100 and 10,000 tons on the Greek register, down from 1,315 ships a year earlier, 140 ships with a capacity between 10,001 and 30,000 tons, against 152 in September 2011, and 571 vessels over 30,000 tons, up from 560 ships in September last year.

Among the shipping companies with a high number of ships in the Greek register are the following: Anangel (owned by John Angelicoussis), Minerva Marine (Andreas Martinos), Marmaras Navigation (Diamantis Diamantidis), Eletson (Karastamatis family), Costamare (Constantakopoulos family), Tsakos Shipping, Dryships (George Economou), Arcadia and Aegean (Constantinos Angelopoulos family), Belgian company Euronav, NEDA (Nick Lykiardopoulos family) and several others.

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