Hellada’s fleet is sailing full speed ahead to Posidonia 2024. Polish seminar during the Maritime Fair in Athens

By Marek Grzybowski

Greek shipowners have a fleet of over 5,500 ships, and Greek shipowners control over 20% of the world’s tonnage. This makes Greece the country with the largest fleet in the world, informs the Union of Greek Shipowners a few days before the Posidonia maritime fair. Poland will mark its maritime identity with an industry seminar.
The Hellas fleet is a strong base for the Greek maritime cluster. The Greek fleet accounts for over 60% of the fleet controlled by operators operating in the EU. And maritime transport significantly contributes to the economic security of the European Union and the achievement of EU climate goals – inform the authors of the 2023-2024 annual report of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS).

In her preface to the Report, the President of the UGS, Ms. Melina Travlos, stresses: “Greek shipping continues to create, to evolve, to invest and to lead with deep faith in its seamanship, honoring its long maritime tradition. Always a pioneer at sea”.

– Greek shipping, being the largest international and cross-trading fleet, has a strategic and indispensable role in global trade and economy. Representing more than 20% of the global capacity and more than 60% of the European Union-controlled fleet, Greek shipping is at the forefront of the green transition with the largest alternative fuel capable fleet in the world. We continue to invest heavily in new technologies and digitalization, drastically improving our environmental footprint. Our defining characteristics are exceptional resilience and adaptability, which have established us as the leading maritime nation. Embracing our maritime heritage, our seamanship, we try to strengthen these qualities that are key to our ability to effectively navigate the challenges of our time – writes Ms. Melina Travlos in the Statement before the Posidonia 2024.

Climate-friendly shipping
It states that shipping is “one of the most climate-friendly modes of transport with the lowest costs for the end consumer.” Observation of the development of the Greek shipping cluster allows us to conclude that Greek shipowners systematically expand and constantly renew their fleet with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly ships. The Greek-owned fleet is already the world’s largest user of ships using alternative fuels.
– Greek shipping is at the forefront of the ecological transition, with the world’s largest fleet adapted to alternative fuels. We continue to invest heavily in new technologies and digitalization, radically improving our impact on the environment, emphasizes Melina Travlos.
Greek shipowners control over 20% of the world’s merchant fleet in terms of deadweight tonnage (in dwt), making Greece the country with the largest fleet in the world. The Greek-controlled merchant fleet is growing dynamically. Over the last decade, the total deadweight capacity of the Greek merchant fleet has increased by 53.5%, to 5,543 ships.

The Greek fleet is an excellent example of expansion by providing services on the international market. The ships operated by operators from Greece are the world’s largest business group offering maritime trade services. The ships of Greek operators mainly transport cargo between third countries. Greek ships use over 98% of their transport capacity for the international market. This means that practically global logistics of many cargoes could not exist without the transport potential of the Greek fleet.

A giant in the transportation of bulk cargo, oil and products
Greek shipping mainly focuses on the transportation of bulk cargo. Operators from Greece specialize in tramp shipping. Transport is dominated by cargoes such as: cereals and agricultural products, oil and gas, iron, bauxite, aluminum oxide and other ores, coal, fertilizers, steel, chemical and forestry products – the authors of the report enumerate.
– As the bulk/tramp transport sector is migratory and flexible by nature, the Greek-controlled fleet is highly responsive to changing or new trade areas and patterns, the UGS report highlights.
The Greek shipping cluster is characterized by openness to various types of business initiatives. In addition to large shipowners, there are also a number of small enterprises operating there. The cluster has created a unique environment in which there is space for small and medium-sized companies to operate. The Greek bulk transport sector includes thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises and thrives in an almost perfectly competitive market.
Greek operators are flexible in responding to changes in demand and supply on the dry and liquid bulk transport market. – This is due to the large number of shipping companies involved in the bulk cargo trade. According to the latest data, there are approximately 4,700 companies operating in the tanker sector with an average of 3.6 ships and almost 2,500 owners of bulk carriers with an average of 5 ships – inform the authors of the report on the Greek fleet in 2024.
Flexibility in operations on the global market is the basic business model of Greek shipowners. Its effectiveness has been enhanced by the incorporation of technological innovations. Particular focus was placed on implementing solutions to increase energy efficiency. This helped reduce transportation costs.

Shipping with decreasing CO2
This was done “for the benefit of end consumers around the world,” the Greeks emphasize, pointing out the well-known fact that “shipping is the cheapest mode of transport” and emphasizing that “the real costs of transporting cargo by sea have been falling significantly over the decades.”
For many years, Greek shipowners have been benefiting from the rapid growth of global maritime trade. In less than a quarter of a century, the supply of cargo has almost doubled. This phenomenon is not accompanied by a similar rate of increase in CO2 emissions. It turns out that replacing ships with less fuel-consuming units reduces the share of global fleets in CO2 emissions.
The report emphasizes that shipping is the most energy-efficient type of transport. Therefore, the Greeks make an important contribution to reducing CO2 emissions by introducing more and more modern units into the fleet or modernizing older ones. The well-known fact is highlighted that “compared to other modes of transport, shipping is 4 times more energy efficient than road transport and 116 times more energy efficient than air transport.”
Greek shipowners have played a major role in this trend as they continue to invest in new, larger and more efficient ships. – Currently, the Greek order portfolio includes 384 ships with a total deadweight capacity of 34 million dwt, which means a significant increase compared to previous years – reports the Union of Greek Shipowners.

Compared to 2023, the order portfolio is 60% larger in terms of the number of ships and 79% in terms of deadweight capacity. However, compared to 2021, it is almost four times higher in terms of the number of ships and more than twice the order book in terms of deadweight capacity.
The Greeks are introducing larger and larger ships into their fleets. In 2024, the average deadweight capacity of the vessel currently ordered by the Greek operator is 88,748 dwt compared to 62,237 dwt of the global fleet. The new ships also have more modern equipment. Particular attention is paid to efficient engines and environmentally friendly equipment is introduced. It is emphasized that “Greek shipowners continue to invest in an increasingly modern and environmentally friendly fleet.
Greek shipowners control over 30% of the world fleet (in dwt) of oil tankers (910 vessels), over 25% of the global bulk carrier fleet (2,602), over 23% of the world fleet of liquefied natural gas tankers (147 LNG carriers), almost 15% of the chemical and product carrier fleet (507), 13.2% of the global liquefied natural gas fleet (163 LPG tankers), almost 9% of the world’s container ships (504) and 8.6% of car carriers (71 ro-ro ships).

On the eve of Posidonia 2024, Melina Travlos emphasizes that “Shipping connects people, economies and cultures. Posidonia embraces the same spirit. It effectively serves as a platform for the shipping industry and the wider maritime cluster to exchange views, provide business opportunities, showcase innovations, and generate solutions to current challenges.”

Let us emphasize that at the Posidonia fair, Poland will have its national stand, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Athens is organizing on June 4 this year. seminar entitled “Poland – Thinking out of the box about maritime industry.” There will be an opportunity to confront the global maritime business, which is always well represented in many dimensions.