More and more shipping companies are choosing to base their operations in Greece, which saw the number of ships registered on its national cadastre increase in 2021.
At the same time, Greek shipowners managed in 2021 to maintain their leading position.
In an interview to Greek daily Naftemporiki, Ted Petropoulos, head of Petrofin Research, said all the obstacles for new companies to enter the Greek shipping market have been removed, paving the way for new shipping interests to set up their headquarters in Greece.
Petropoulos cites the large number of investment funds active in shipping as one of the main reasons.
“They are willing to support new shipping companies, provided they have experience and a solid investment plan,” he said. After all, he says, banks usually don’t offer funding to new players.
Additionally, he goes on to add that many of the new founded companies have been created by members of traditional shipping families, which already have the networks in place to support them in their first steps.
The analyst goes on to add that containership and bulk carrier activity performed strongly in 2021. Indicatively, the majority of listed companies owned by Greek shipowners on the US stock market performed very well in 2021 and particularly those active in bulk and container shipping.
According to Petropoulos, the number of shipping companies active in Greece over the past years has declined: many went bankrupt due to the economic crisis or were absorbed by the wave of mergers and acquisitions seen in shipping.
According to Petrofin data, there were 589 Greek shipping companies in operation in 2019.
There has been an increase, he said, in shipping companies with large fleet, which are more resilient to the volatility of freight markets. Research indicates that 50 Greek companies controlled 73.47 percent of the domestic fleet in 2019, compared to 71.28 percent in 2018.
He added that actions were being taken to create conditions that will attract investors interested in expanding in the shipping market including improved services offered in Athens and Piraeus.
Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said last year that “applications for registration of new ships under our flag in 2021 were 62 percent higher than in 2020, while Greek ship management reached a record high of 4,900 ships in October.”