Greek owners operate almost a fifth of the global fleet of merchant ships, with the industry employing over 200,000 people and contributing approximately 7.5 percent of the country’s GDP.
Despite the difficulties, including low freights, a stagnating sale & purchase market and bank-lending restrictions, Greece’s shipping industry remains the world leader in terms of number of vessels in the water, size and vessel category, ahead of other major maritime players, such as Japan worth 89.42 billion dollars and China valued 73.94 billion dollars.
At the same time, media report that Greek shipping companies are buying vessels from cash-strapped competitors and German banks, intent on increasing their market share even more.
The 10 largest shipping companies in the world based on the value of ships account for 11.43 percent of the global fleet’s total value. Two of Chios-born John Angelicoussis’ shipping companies are in the top 10. Dino Martinos’ Thenamaris is ranked second with a mixed fleet of 87 vessels (tankers, bulk carriers, LNG carriers and containerships), Peter Livanos’ company GasLog is third with 19 LNG carriers worth 3.34 billion dollars and Costamare of the Constantakopoulos family comes fourth with 71 containerships value 2.91 billion dollars. Maran Gas manages 23 container ships with an estimated value of 4.11 billion dollars while Maran Tankers holds the fifth spot with 48 tankers worth 2.88 billion dollars.
The Greek industry’s value for August 2015 appears to be lower compared to the same month last year mainly due to the further drop in the value of dry bulk carriers, a trend also affecting global fleet, whose worth dropped from 715 billion dollars to 690.4 billion dollars.