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Greek shipowners’ appetite for fleet buildup continues to grow

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The Covid-19 crisis has not dented Greek shipowners’ appetite for investments, as they have spent $1.44 billion purchasing 98 vessels since January 1, ahead of Chinese interests who have bought 78 ships for $871.3 million, according data compiled by  London-based Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee (GSCC).

Over the past 12 months, the Greek-controlled fleet has increased in terms of number of vessels over 1,000 gross tonnage (gt), and has reached an all-time high in terms of gt and deadweight (dwt). As of March 10, Greek interests controlled 4,038 vessels of just on 350.5m dwt and 205.65m gt, GSCC data showed.

Overall, the Greek-owned fleet, stands at 7.1% of the world fleet in terms of ship numbers, 13.3% in terms of gt and 15.8% in terms of dwt. Of note, Greek parent companies represent 26.5% of the world tanker fleet and 14.9% of the ore and bulk fleet.

According to the data, the fleet has grown by 70 vessels, 9.64m dwt and 5.95m gt, including 134 vessels of various types on order of 17.8m dwt.  the carrying capacity is now at a record level.

The Greek-flagged fleet has declined in ship numbers, gt and dwt. The home flag fleet now comprises 584 ships, of 36.623m gt and 62.32m dwt. This is down from 636 ships, of 38.8m gt and 65.64m dwt a year ago.

The Greek-owned fleet is trading under 29 flags, three fewer than in March 2020 led by Liberia (931 ships) and the Marshall Islands (877 ships).

Greek controlled fleet
Based on data provided to the GSCC by IHS Markit

The average age of the Greek controlled fleet in terms of ships increased slightly but continues to be 2.4 years below the world average. The average age of the Greek fleet in terms of ships now stands at 12.1 years against 14.5 years for the world fleet. In terms of gt and dwt, it is 10.3 and 10.2 years respectively, as against 10.5 and 10.2 of the world fleet. The average age of the existing Greek-flag fleet recorded a slight increase standing at 13.9 years against 13.7 years in 2020.

The bulk of the Greek fleet is classed with six societies: Lloyd’s Register: 778 ships ( 794 ships in 2020 and 809 ships in 2019), ABS: 751 ships (759 and 781),  ClassNK: 744 ships (690 and 709), BV: 671 ships (685 and 679), DNV GL: 640 (615 and 599) and RINA: 229 ships (193 and 215). Although Lloyd’s Register ranks first in terms of vessels, ABS comes first in terms of dwt and gt.

Greek shipowners activity in the Sale & Purchase (S&P) ring was also strong. In the first 11 weeks of 2021, Greeks have sold 60 vessels for $753m. Many of the Greek buys have come form Japanese companies which have also sold 60 vessels for $866.5m

This revealed in statistical data assembled by GSCC for the 34rd consecutive year. The data has been provided by IHS Markit.