The Greek merchant fleet has shown a minor decline in 2018. The number of vessels registered under the Greek flag were diminished as compared to the 2017 data. According to recent data, the number of Greek flagged vessels reached 671 in 2018, while they were 723 back in 2017. This is the first time the Greek fleet shrinks in absolute numbers since 2010.
The Greek merchant fleet appears to follow an industry-wide trend which posits the eventual decommissioning of aged vessels as a measure of strict market discipline to alleviate from the decade-long conditions of vessel oversupply in the shipping universe. Greece’s paradigm was also followed by Malta which saw its fleet diminish by seven vessels and Cyprus which lost 26 vessels from its flag registry.
This trend nonetheless appears to apply to major littoral states. On the contrary, countries which provide flags of convenience have recorded a rise in their fleet registries. In addition to reduced registry prices for flying a flag of a particular state, flags of convenience entail less bureaucratic and security preconditions for registering a particular vessel to national database. Liberia and Marshall Islands were the most benefited states for the year 2018, recording increases of roughly 5% to their registry entries.
In terms of cargo carriage capacity, the deadweight tonnage (DWT) and gross register tonnage (GT) for the Greek merchant vessels diminished by 2.38 million DWT and 1.12 million GT. The Greek merchant fleet’s overall cargo carriage capabilities reached for 2018 339 million DWT and 198 million GT. These numbers signal that the Greek registry comprises roughly the 7.2% of the world merchant fleet. In terms of cargo carriage capabilities, the Greek fleet’s DWT and GT capabilities represent the 13.4% of wold’s DWT and GT, respectively.