The Greek merchant fleet decreased by 0.4% in August 2023 compared with August 2022 and its total number at present is 1,822 ships, according to the data announced by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Greece’s merchant fleet (for vessels of 100 Gross Register Tonnage-GRT). 

It’s worth noting that an increase of 0.2% was recorded in the Greek Merchant Fleet in August 2022 compared with August 2021. 

ELSTAT data show that the gross tonnage of the Greek merchant fleet, for vessels of 100 GRT and over, recorded a decrease of 3.6% in August 2023 compared with August 2022. A decrease of 1.4% was also recorded in August 2022 compared with August 2021.

Greece’s cargo vessels, tankers and passenger ships had a year-on-year decline on the GRT, with the largest recorded in cargo ships (-5.2%) and tankers (-3.1%).

In August 2023, the total number of the Greek merchant fleet amounted to 1,822 vessels with 37,337,916 GRT, compared to 1,830 vessels in the same month of 2022 and 38,729,127 GRT.

The number of cargo ships recorded a decline of 2.9% (362 vessels in this year compared to 373 vessels in 2022) while the number of tankers recorded a decline of 4.3% (421 ships compared to 440 in 2022).

On the contrary, the number of Greek passenger ships had an increase of 2.4% (767 vessels compared to 749 in 2022) and in other types the number of ships increased by 1.5% (272 vessels compared to 268 ships last year).  

As for the age of the 1,822 Greek merchant ships in 2023, 111 ships are up to 5 years, 178 vessels are from 5 to 10 years and 231 ships are from 10 to 15 years.

Furthermore, 221 ships have an age from 15 to 20 years, 136 ships are from 20 to 25 years and 102 vessels are from 25 to 30 years, while 843 ships are up from 30 years old.

The survey on the Greek merchant fleet is conducted on a monthly basis since 1964, and covers all port authorities of Greece, as well as Greek Consular port authorities abroad, which keep ship registers.

Earlier this year the latest annual report by the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) shows that Greek shipowners control the highest share, 21% of the global merchant fleet in terms of dwt. During the last ten years the total capacity of the Greek merchant fleet, currently consisting of 5,520 ships, has grown by 50%.

The report notes that Greeks continue investing heavily in new-build ships and equipment, with 241 ships on order in April 2023, corresponding to 19 million dwt.

This represents a significant increase of 40% compared to the previous year’s orderbook (173 ships), attesting to the Greek shipping sector being the frontrunner also in fleet renewal.

It is estimated that more than 40% of oil tankers and almost one out of 6 LNG carriers being built today will be delivered to Greek shipowners. Moreover, the average age of the Greek-owned fleet, around 10 years, is lower than the global average, almost 11 years.