The actual number of Greek shipping lines (companies) diminished in 2018. The decline is sustained for a seventh consecutive year, echoing the signs of economic depression that the maritime world currently experiences. The number of Greek shipping companies was reduced to 588 in 2018 – nine less than 2017.
This development also denotes greater concentration of the Greek fleet in the hands of fewer shipping lines. According to a recent study conducted by the Greek Petrofin Research, 77 Greek shipping lines remain in the market with cargo carriage capabilities of their fleets exceeding one million deadweight tons (dwt). In terms of tonnage these 77 companies reflect the 80% of total tonnage capabilities of the Greek merchant fleet.
Petrofin Research Report Highlights
The Petrofin Research report reveals that despite a number of new start-ups assuming operations in the renowned Akti Miaouli Street of Piraeus in 2018, the number of shipping lines exiting the Greek maritime market was far greater. However, complementing a rise in tonnage capabilities the average age of the Greek merchant fleet also rose. The research argued that
‘An explanation for this can be found in the slowdown of newbuilding deliveries of vessels and some consolidation in the overall number of 25 vessels-plus company fleets due to sale of older vessels in the second-hand (sale and purchase) market.’
Further the research report underscored that‘for the time being, the 80% share of the tonne millionaires may not be easily breached, as it represents a significant level.’
In overall the Greek shipping market appears to have experienced growth in 2018, both in terms of tonnage capacity and market concentration in fewer shipping lines. According to the research report,
‘The process of consolidation, due to diseconomies of scale for small companies, continues. Despite an active year in sale and purchase transactions, but fewer newbuilding deliveries, the fleet’s age marginally increased, something which is not deemed significant.’