ECONOMY

Fewer ships now flying Greek flag

The Greek commercial fleet shrank by 76 ships and by 4,338,854 deadweight tons (dwt) last month compared with February 2008, according to Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay data processed by the Hellenic Shipping Cooperation Committee in London. The number of vessels flying the Greek flag came to 1,121 last month, including 356 ships ordered, against 1,197 ships in February 2008, including 422 orders. This was the first decline since 2006, official data showed. Greek-owned ships also decreased by 12 on an annual basis, falling to 4,161 ships from 4,173 in February 2008. This was the first decline since March 2005. In contrast, ships with Greek owners show an increase in capacity, as this has risen from 260,929,221 dwt in February 2008 to 263,560,741 dwt last month. The Greek-owned fleet has also been extensively renewed, as its average age has dropped from 12.9 to 11.9 years within just 12 months.