Greek shipowners will head to the beach parties of Posidonia this summer with a fleet of ships worth $183bn on the water.

The figure gives Hellenic owners a 16% share of the global trading fleet by gross tonnes, placing them narrowly behind China at the top of the global standings, according to Clarksons.

Steve Gordon, managing director of Clarksons Research, said Greek shipping companies had a “remarkable collective scale”.

However, he noted the presence of “building strategic challenges around fleet renewal, energy transition and geopolitics”.

Tankers, where Greek owners are comfortably the largest players globally ahead of China, account for the most significant slice of the overall fleet value at $68.4bn.

The Hellenic-controlled bulker fleet adds a further $63.9bn, with gas — a major area of expansion during the last decade — worth over $33bn, Clarksons said.

“A successful strategic focus on gas has increased LNG global share to 21%”, up from just 3% in 2013, Gordon said.

The Angelicoussis Group is the largest among the nearly 700 Greek shipowners, with ships of a combined 27m dwt, according to Clarksons data.

George Procopiou’s Dynacom sits second, with George Economou’s Cardiff Marine completing the top three.

Greek fleet by size and value

Ship typeNo. VesselsGTDWTValue $m
Container ships44921,284,17324,388,73412,239
Grand Total5,982252,397,526427,043,637182,633

Source: Clarksons

The prevalence of smaller, private shipowners in Greece remains.

While the largest 10 shipowners have an average of 110 vessels each, the typical Greek owner has a seven-strong fleet, Gordon noted.

In addition, 80% of the Greek fleet remains in private hands, with just 20% controlled by stock-listed companies, Clarksons said.

While Greek newbuilding activity has regularly captured the headlines in the past couple of years as ordering accelerated, the thirst for secondhand sale-and-purchase activity has not been dented.

Gordon wrote in a report that Greek owners are involved in around one-third of all S&P transactions.

And while dry cargo accounts for 48% of the Greek fleet overall, and container ships a further 8%, around half of all cargoes carried by Greeks are energy, according to Clarksons’ calculations.

“So, weighing up energy security needs, the timing of the energy transition and growth potential across the gases will be important,” Gordon said.

A further question mark was the “below trend” adopting of alternative fuels.

Just 33% of the Greek newbuilding orderbook is ready for the adoption of future fuels, compared to 50% globally, Gordon noted.

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