Greek shipowners control 21% of the world’s fleet

The total capacity of the Greek fleet has increased by 45.8% compared to 2014, while even during COVID-19, i.e. since 2019, the capacity has increased by 7.4%.

Greece remains the leading shipping country in the world, as Greek shipowners with 5,514 ships, it currently controls about 21% of the world’s fleet in terms of tonnage (dwt).

The total capacity of the Greek fleet has increased by 45.8% compared to 2014, while even during COVID-19, i.e. since 2019, the capacity has increased by 7.4%.

This data is taken from the annual report. Hellenic Shipowners Association (EAEU) which indicates that the merchant fleet, owned by Greek shipowners (this does not mean that ships sail under the flag of Greece), transports goods between third countries with more than 98% of its holds filled and is the largest carrier in the world.

At the national level, Greek shipping remains a strategic factor of particular importance to the Greek economy: maritime transport contributes more than 3% of gross value added and, in total, about 7% of GDP (directly and indirectly), offering almost 200,000 jobs, notes annual report of the Hellenic Association of Shipowners.

They also provide a significant net inflow of finance into the Greek economy: in 2021, the inflow to the Greek balance of payments from maritime transport not only exceeded the level of 2019 after the recession caused by the pandemic in 2020, but became the highest since 2008 and amounted to more than 17 billion euros.

The fleet owned by Greek ship owners accounts for 59% of the fleet controlled by the member states of the European Union. At the same time, a third of the fleet belonging to Greece carries the flag of member states EU.

Greek shipowners are constantly investing in new energy efficient vessels and environmentally friendly equipment. According to the EU, the average age of the Greek fleet is 9.99 years, lower than the world average of 10.28 years. “Greek shipping, as a leader, using its accumulated know-how, remains a pioneer in development, always with realistic proposals and significant goals, such as the research and development of environmentally friendly, alternative marine fuels,” said the new president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, Melina Travlow .

What do Greek shipowners control?


fleet oil tankers


world dry cargo fleet


world park liquefied natural gas (LNG)


world fleet carrying chemicals and petroleum products


world park liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)


world transport fleet transportation containers

Shipbuilding orders from Greek shipowners amount to 173 vessels (up from 104 last year), which corresponds to 17.3 million dwt. More than a third of the oil tankers and almost one in six LNG carriers currently under construction in the world will be handed over to Greek shipowners. In addition, more than a quarter (27.6%) of Greece’s tonnage (in dwt) is covered by the global model of the Ship Design Energy Efficiency Index (EEDI), a United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) technical measure that ensures improved ship energy efficiency. Greek shipowners are constantly investing in larger vessels that also offer greater efficiency and environmental benefits due to economies of scale.

Since 2014river ship owners received loans for $13.57 billion. Financing provided by Greek banks to shipping companies increased by double digits in 2021, bringing their total shipping loan portfolio up by 14.2% to $13.57 billion. The largest increase was recorded in the Eurobank portfolio – by $3.38 billion, making it the second largest Greek shipping finance after Credit Suisse. It is followed by Piraeus with a portfolio of 3.25 billion, Alpha Bank with 3.2 billion, National Bank with loans of 2.64 billion and Aegean Baltic Bank with 536 million. The other three banks with “Greek DNA”, Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank and Astrobank jointly provided another $560 million to Greek shipping companies.

However, loans to foreign banks for Greek shipping have also increased, bringing the total bank loan portfolio directed to the country’s shipping sector to $52.5 billion (49.79 billion in 2020). This data is taken from Petrofin’s annual bank shipping financing report. Research and data as of the end of 2021.

The number of banks involved in financing Greek shipping is 56. Credit Suisse remains in first place with a 12.5% ​​decline in its portfolio value after a 16.88% decline in 2020. The reduction in European banks’ exposure to Greek shipping has stopped. Their portfolio now corresponds to 74.33% of the Greek market compared to 73.84% in 2020.

“It looks like the exit of the big banks from the Greek shipping industry over the last decade is over,” said Petrofin CEO Ted Petropoulos. “The outlook for 2022, with further unforeseen geopolitical developments and sanctions, is favorable for increased funding for Greek shipping,” he adds.

The heightened willingness of banks to take on maritime risk “has very little to do with the course of maritime markets,” says Filippos Tsamanis, head of maritime finance at Aegean Baltic Bank, who specializes in this sector: “This is partly a manifestation of the recognition that shipping, despite its circularity proved to be measurable and limited credit risk, especially when compared to land-based industries.” Aegean Baltic Bank, despite the fact that it is the fifth bank in the corresponding rating, “over the past three years has increased its position in relation to Greek shipowners by 200%,” notes F. Tzamanis.

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