The share of Greek-owned ships in the global fleet continued to grow in 2015, as they numbered almost 4,500 vessels – i.e. 19.63 percent of the world’s entire capacity in deadweight tons – and almost 50 percent of the fleet of the European Union, as Theodoros Veniamis, the president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, told the entity’s annual general meeting this week.
Veniamis stressed that “this development leaves us no room for pessimism,” in spite of the major difficulties the sector has had to face both in Greece and abroad.
The imposition of the capital controls last June and the overall economic instability they have generated have had a direct impact on Greek shipping. Bank of Greece data showed that in the first half of 2015 the foreign currency inflows from shipping grew 2.13 percent year-on-year to 6.42 billion euros, but in the following four months (July to October) they posted a 50.78 percent yearly decline to 2.27 billion euros from 4.62 billion in the same period in 2014.
Contributing to that decline was also the global sinking of chartering rates for dry-bulk carriers in the last few months of 2015, reaching historic lows. This continues into 2016, without any recovery prospects in sight, according to Veniamis.