Smaller Greek shipping companies currently control 62 percent of all coastal transport needs, according to XRTC Business Consultants’ 18th annual Greek shipping report released earlier this month.
According to the XRTC report, some 20 smaller Greek-owned companies have managed in the last four years with 58 ferries and 21 high speed vessels to compete and overcome market leaders Attica Group – which operates Blue Star, Super Fast, and Hellenic Seaways – ΑΝΕΚ, and Minoan Lines.
More specifically, smaller players include Golden Star Ferries (Superrunner, Superspeed, Supercat) operating Piraeus, Cyclades, Rafina and Crete destinations; Fast Ferries serving Igoumenitsa – Paxos – Corfu and Rafina – Andros – Tinos – Mykonos – Naxos lines; Zante Ferries operating two ferries on the year-round Piraeus-Cyclades route; Dodekanissos Seaways connecting Rhodes with the islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Leros and Patmos; and Levante Ferries which is the only company handling the Kyllini – Kefalonia – Zakynthos line with four ferries. Another small player, newcomer Sea Speed Lines running the Piraeus – Milos – Thira – Rethymno line.
Despite some of these being “seasonally active… many of the aforementioned companies, although local, have launched innovative management structures, adopted privilege and loyalty card programs much like larger companies, and are contributing to the development of the coastal shipping product “, said XRTC analysts in the report.
According to XRTC findings, majors held 57 percent of the market in 2014, only to see smaller companies taking the lead with 62 percent and more vessels overall at the end of 2018.
With a fleet of 17 ships, serving 26 islands in the Cyclades with connections from Piraeus, Rafina, Crete, and Thessaloniki, and employing 800 people, Seajets is the leader among the smaller players and set to enter major league. Golden Star Ferries, Fast Ferries, Zante Ferries and Dodekanissos Seaways follow.