Greek shipping remains number one in the world, according to new report by the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) released on Wednesday.
Although the country accounts for only 0.16% of the world’s population, Greek shipowners own 20.67% of global tonnage and 54.28% of the European Union (EU)-controlled tonnage, says the report.
Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, as shipping is arguably the oldest form of employment in the Greek world and has been a key element of Greek economic activity since ancient times.
Today it is the second largest contributor to the national economy after tourism.
First established in 1916, the UGS represents Greek-owned vessels over 3,000 gross tons under Greek and other European and third country flags.
Greek shipping doubles its carrying capacity
Between 2007 and 2019, Greek shipowners more than doubled the carrying capacity of their fleet, while they control:
• 32.64% of the world tanker fleet, 15.14% of the world chemical and products tankers and 16.33% of the global LNG / LPG fleet;
• 21.7% of the world bulk carriers; and
• 8.92% of the world container vessels.
New-build orders by Greek interests amounted to 128 vessels (over 1,000 gross tons) or 15.928 million dead weight tons (dwt) out of a global total of 2,425 orders of 166.825 million dwt at the beginning of 2020.
Greek shipowners have been investing heavily in new, more efficient ships, with the average age of the Greek-owned fleet, at 9.17 years, being lower than the average age of the world fleet of 9.61 years.
In fact, 28.61% of the Greek-owned fleet under EU flags was built after 2013, according to the global standard of the Energy Efficiency Design Index, which guarantees better energy efficiency.
The corresponding percentage for the EU- flagged fleet is 21%, and 23.2% for the world fleet.
Average size of Greek ships is double the world average
Additionally, the average size of Greek-owned vessels at 81,118 dead weight tons is almost double than the average vessel size of the world fleet which is 43,766 dwt.
Economies of scale improve efficiency and environmental gains, thereby reducing even further the carbon footprint of Greek shipping.
The Greek-owned fleet is one of the safest fleets worldwide as well, with 0.96% of the Greek merchant fleet, based on number of ships, and 0.37% of the fleet based on tonnage being involved in minor accidents, the report notes.