Greek-owned shipping fleet ranks first once again, tops China and Japan

greek shipping

The Greek-owned fleet is at the top of the global shipping industry for another year in terms of tonnage, representing 17.63% of the world's fleet.

More specifically, according to the report of the UNCTAD's Review of Maritime Transport, which was published on November 29 and uses data up to the first half of the year, the Greek-owned fleet numbers 4,870 ships with a tonnage of 384.4 million.

Tonnage, not the number of ships, is the key parameter for measuring the strength of a commercial fleet since it carries larger volumes of goods.

In second place is the Chinese-owned fleet, which numbers 8,007 ships, but with a smaller capacity - 277.8 million tonnes.

In third place is Japan, with a fleet of 4,007 ships.

In fourth place is Singapore with a fleet of 2,799 ships and in fifth place is Hong Kong with 1,822 ships.

Fleet value

Based on the value of the fleet, China leads the way, with $154.8 billion, with containerships and bulk carriers playing a leading role. Greece is in second place with the Greek-owned fleet totaling $148.2 billion.

However, the value of the Greek-owned tanker fleet at $35.6 billion is by far the highest of the second.

During the 2014-2022 period, the countries with the strongest ship ownership remain the same with Greece, but having strengthened more, and China also surpassed Japan.

In 2014, Greece had a share of 14.8% and in 2022 it was at 17.63%. In the same period Japan fell from almost 14% to 12%. China improved its position from 9% to 12.74%.

From January 2021 to January 2022, among the top ship-owning nations, Switzerland recorded the highest increase in the carrying capacity of its fleet by 17% thanks to the purchases and construction of container ships by MSC, which added 250 vessels in its fleet. China follows with a 13% increase.

The report says seaborne trade rebounded in 2021 with 3.2% growth after a 3.8% decline in 2020. But growth flattened in 2022 due to the global economic burden, new waves of the pandemic leading to factory closures in China and global geopolitical developments.

Growth is expected to moderate at 1.4% this year. For the period 2023-2027 maritime trade is expected to grow globally by 2.1% on an annual basis which is slower than the average of the previous three decades of 3.3%.

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