Greece still tops the tonnage charts with one in five ships of the global merchant fleet

One in five merchant ships around the world are Greek, cementing the Mediterranean nation’s position at the top of the global deadweight tonnage ranks. The 20% figure was included in the latest annual report from the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), published days ahead of Posidonia, the giant biennial shipping exhibition in Athens.

“The beginning of 2018 finds our shipping industry maintaining the highest position internationally, controlling about 20 percent of the global fleet in dwt tonnage (including a 30 percent share of tankers and 22 percent of bulk carriers) and representing almost 50 percent of the European Union fleet capacity in dwt terms,” Theodore Veniamis, president of UGS, noted.

According to the union’s latest figures, the fleet amounts to 4,746 vessels (of ships above 1,000 gt), totalling 365.45m dwt, marking an increase of approximately 6.6% year-on-year.

The UGS claimed in its annual report that Greek shipping generated EUR9.14bn ($10.7bn) in foreign exchange inflows last year, up 16.91% from 2016.

“Being a strategic commercial partner of major economic and political forces such as the European Union and the US, Greek shipping strengthens the international prestige of the country,” the report claimed.

Splash, which this year is sponsoring Posidonia, will be reporting live from Athens and will be running a series of Greek shipowner-related features starting from next week.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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