ECONOMY

Greek ships get bigger and younger

Greek-owned merchant shipping rose as a percentage of world gross (gt) and deadweight (dwt) tonnage in the first five months of the year despite a fall in the number of vessels, according to the annual report of the London-based Greek Maritime Cooperation Committee and Lloyd’s. Greek owners now account for 18.3 percent of dwt tonnage and 15.9 percent of gt, and manage 3,355 vessels of more than 1,000 gt representing 9.3 percent of the global total. Despite a 3.6-percent fall in the number of Greek-owned vessels, capacity in terms of dwt was higher 4.23 percent. This is explained by a spate of new orders for larger vessels and the withdrawal of old ones. Foreign shipping registers still attract the majority of Greek-owned vessels, although the Greek register accounts for more than any other: 929 ships totaling 56.4 million dwt. Malta has 601 Greek-owned ships registered (30 million dwt) and Cyprus 579 and 24 million dwt. The average age of Greek-flagged vessels fell to 17.4 years from 19.6 in 2002.