ECONOMY

Ship capacity grows at a rapid rate in year 2007

The Greek commercial fleet’s capacity expanded by 4,014,042 register tons during the first five months of this year, compared to December 2006, according to data compiled by the National Statistics Service (NSS). In May of 2007, the Greek fleet numbered 2,025 vessels, with a total capacity of 35,609,983 register tons against 31,595,941 in December 2006. NSS data also show that of the 2,025 ships, 630 are dry-bulk carriers and 911 are passenger carriers and other vessels. This growth is attributed to the measures the Merchant Marine Ministry recently took to boost the competitiveness of the Greek register. In the period from January 2001 to May 2007, there was a 2.9 percent rise in ship numbers and an increase of 30.3 percent in total capacity. Dry-bulkers have increased by 0.8 percent and their capacity by 19.8 percent. Tankers have increased by 5.9 percent, with their capacity growing by 40 percent. Passenger carriers and other ships increased by 2.9 percent and their capacity rose by 21.9 percent. Shipping foreign currency inflows grew by 295 million euros in the first months of the year compared with the same period in 2006. It reached 4,914.2 million euros, from 4,618.3 million euros last year. The growth was greater in April, with inflows reaching 1,254.8 million euros, against 1,070.4 million euros in April 2006. Bank of Greece data confirm that inflows came to 14,324.7 million euros in 2006, from 13,871.4 million euros in 2005. The steady growth of shipping foreign currency inflows began in 2000, when, according to data from the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE), they reached $7,914.2 million and rose to $12,493.4 million in 2003.