ECONOMY

Greek shipowners renewing fleet

More than half the capacity of the Greek-owned merchant fleet of ships that exceed 10,000 deadweight tons (dwt) is controlled by the top 30 Greek shipowners, while 72.4 percent of the Greek fleet is managed by a total of 70 shipowners, according to the annual survey by Petrofin Research. What illustrates the quality upgrade of the Greek-owned fleet is that in 2010 the average age of ships stands at 16.6 years, from an average 17.6 years in 2009 and 18.4 in 2008. Furthermore, the capacity of the fleet this year has risen by 52,159 dwt to 242,802,092 dwt, from 237,288,216 dwt in 2009 and 222,368,331 dwt in 2008. Nevertheless this year, the Greek-owned fleet has shrunk by 108 ships from 2009, going down to 4,655 in number. This shows that Greek shipowners have opted for fewer ships but with greater capacity. The Petrofin survey reported that the 448 firms owned by Greeks have 3,148 vessels exceeding 10,000 dwt, which is 83 ships fewer than last year’s figure. However their transport capacity has grown by 5,605,903 dwt to 238,730,633 dwt. The average age of those ships fell this year to 12.9 years from 14.2 years in 2009 and 14.8 years in 2008. Vessels exceeding 20,000 dwt comprise 96.34 percent of the fleet, with the average capacity per ship reaching 82,865 dwt from 79,343 dwt in 2009. Those ships’ average age has also dropped, reaching 12.36 years from 13.6 years in 2009. All this serves to illustrate that Greek shipowners have considerably renewed their fleet over the last 12 months, opting for quality instead of quantity in vessels.