Greek Shipowners Boost Newbuilding Contracts by Over 50% in 2023


Newbuilding contracts signed by Greek shipowners rose by over 50% in the year to March, with growth across total gross tonnage, vessel numbers, and deadweight tonnage, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence for the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC), reports Port News.

 Newbuilding contracts

The figures put the Greek orderbook at 373 vessels, totalling 33.1m DWT and 22.9m GT. It comprises 112 oil tankers on order for Greek owners; 32 chemical and products tankers; 77 liquefied gas tankers; 107 ore and bulk carriers; 35 container ships; and 10 cargo vessels.

The overall figures for the existing fleet show 4,212 ships under the control of Greek interests – a record high and 102 vessels more than recorded in March 2023. Total tonnage rose 5.9m DWT to 355.2m DWT, and 3.91m GT to 208.3m GT.

Clarksons noted in its shipbuilding market review for 2023 that Greek shipping companies committed 60% more in new-build investments compared to 2022. Its $18bn in spending helped European owners to invest more than Asian shipowners for the first time since 2018. The Greek investment was the highest in DWT terms since 2013, Clarksons said.

Greek-controlled ships are an average of 13.7 years old, according to the GSSC data, remaining 4.5 years below the world average fleet age of 18.2 years.

While the topline figures increased across the board, analysis of changes in the fleet composition by ship type over the past 12 months shows clear winners and losers. The biggest increase by vessel number and DWT was in bulk carriers, where the number of ships rose by 96 or 8.0m DWT. Container ships, cargo ships, and liquefied gas tankers also recorded an increase in vessel numbers and DWT. Figures for tankers accounted for the majority of fleet losses. Oil tanker numbers dipped by 12 ships or 3.2m DWT, with chemical and products tankers falling by 19 vessels or 985,552 DWT. Passenger ships fell by a single vessel and 3,404 DWT. Comparing the Greek fleet to the world fleet, Greek owners controlled 23.7% of the world tanker fleet, 16.1% of the ore and bulk fleet, and 10.1% of the liquified gas fleet. The figures represented increased Greek control of the world fleet in the bulker carrier, cargo, and other cargo ship categories, with slight decreases in different categories.

The GSCC report also showed the flags of choice for Greek-owned vessels, with registrations spread across some 32 flags worldwide. The Greek flag retained its third position, with 11.8% of the Greek-owned fleet, holding stable at 496 ships and slipping slightly in tonnage terms by 1m DWT and 391,129 GT to 51,694,269 DWT and 30,759,394 GT. Ahead of Greece for its fleet were Liberia and the Marshall Islands with 1,159 and 1,096 Greek-owned ships, respectively. Liberia’s gain of 79 vessels gave it 27.5% of the Greek fleet, while the Marshall Islands grew by 34 ships to 26.0%. Cyprus gained 19 vessels to reach 5.6%, and Portugal’s two additional vessels took it to 0.3%. In tonnage terms, Liberia represented 104.2 million DWT, corresponding to 29.3%, and the Marshall Islands 86.4 million DWT, corresponding to 24.3% of the total DWT of the Greek-owned fleet.

Of the remaining flags, Malta lost 23 vessels to 12.7% of the fleet, the Bahamas eight vessels to 4.8%, and Panama, Bermuda and the Isle of Man each lost two vessels apiece 7.8%, 0.5%, and 0.5%, respectively.

The figures for the chosen classification societies of the fleet showed a change in the top three. By vessel number, ClassNK held the top spot, with 825 ships, up from 801 in 2023. Lloyd’s Register took silver, with 761 vessels, up from 742 in March 2023; ABS was in third and the only class society among the top eight to lose vessel count, at 748 ships, down from 753 in 2023.

The analysis noted that while ClassNK tops the list by vessel numbers, ABS tops the Greek-controlled fleet in both DWT and GT terms.

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Source: Port News