More than half the EU's shipping fleet is Greek

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13.1 percent of all shipping tonnage, meaning the volume or cargo volume of a ship calling in ports around the world last year, was identified as Greek-owned, according to a report by Lloyd’s List Intelligence (LLI).

In fact, Greek shipowners currently represent more than half of the EU's capacity, Lloyds Listrevealed.

Lloyd’s List Intelligence data shows a live fleet of 4,981 vessels in October 2020. This compares with a fleet of 4,965 ships a year ago, indicating a 2.2 per cent increase in tonnage.

Port of Pireaus shipping
Port of Pireaus.

The report showed that in 2019, Greek-owned ships increased their activity — both globally and in most major regions — covering more than 230,000 port calls and aggregating more than 11.9 billion deadweight tonnage (dwt).

This was up from about 221,000 international calls, representing 11.3 billion dwt, in 2018, reflecting trade patterns and demand but also an increase in the capacity of the fleet.

“Greece’s own trade traditionally contributes less than 1 per cent of the cargoes carried by Greek shipping companies in the course of a year,” writes Nigel Lowry of Lloyd’s List.

“Given the cross-trading nature of the fleet and the itinerant nature of the bulk tramping trades in which Greek owners are mostly concentrated, the stability of their presence in many of the major trades from year to year can be surprising," Lowry said.

The Middle East was the only major shipping region to see less Greek-owned tonnage last year than the previous year, while activity to just about everywhere else increased.

Port of Shanghai. shipping
Port of Shanghai.

Greek shipping has steadily increased its operations in Asia — and last year, the region accounted for over 35 percent of the fleet’s global port calls by aggregate capacity, the report says.

“Greek shipowners have long argued that the European Union should pay more heed to shipping’s role in serving external trade,” Lowry adds.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.