Germany: GL Group Counts 100 Million GT Classified

  • Business & Finance

Classification society Germanischer Lloyd​ (GL) fleet under classification now exceeds 100 million GT (gross tonnage).

GL has currently more than 7,200 ships from over 1,900 shipping companies worldwide under regular technical supervision. “We have been able to double the fleet in class over the last six years,” explains Erik van der Noordaa, CEO of the GL Group, “and we want to have achieved the next 10 million GT by the end of next year.” The ship which saw GL break the 100 million mark was shipping company Hamburg Süd’s 85,676 GT “Santa Rosa”. The 300-meter-long container ship, built by South Korean shipyard Daewoo, has a capacity of 7,100 standard containers (TEU) and fulfils the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) the soon to be mandatory energy efficiency measure.

The serving GL fleet is made up of 68 per cent container ships, ten per cent multi-purpose vessels, nine per cent bulk carriers and seven per cent tankers. GL Class ships sail under 114 different flags, the most prevalent being those of the Administrations of Antigua and Barbuda, Germany, Liberia, Singapore, Indonesia and Cyprus.

As well as container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, GL also classifies ferries, cruise ships, offshore supply vessels and wind turbine installation ships, as well as mega-yachts and leisure boats. In the first eight months of 2011 alone, total gross tonnage rose by seven million tons. GL holds a global market share of just under 10 per cent of ships under classification. In the container ship and multi purpose vessel markets, GL holds market leading shares of over 40 and 14 per cent respectively.

Since its founding in the year 1867, GL has experienced several phases of strong growth. When the first ship classification register was published in October 1868, it counted 272 sailing ships of wood and one of steel. Only five years later, the GL Register listed 1,870 ships sailing under 19 different flags. In 1914, there were 2,922 ships with 5,503,923 gross register tonnes (GRT) in class. However, the great depression and the First and Second World Wars took their toll, only at the beginning of the Nineteen Sixties did the Register again list more ships than in 1914.

The expansion of the merchant fleet and the introduction of computer technology in shipbuilding led to a continuous rise in the fleet under attendance. At the 125 year jubilee of the classification society in 1992, there were 4,200 seagoing ships with 18 million GT in class. In 2005, GL attended to the safety of over 5,730 vessels with 50 million GT. Two years later GL’s fleet in service counted 70 million GT. Twenty million more GT followed over the next 3 years, with the fleet in service also reaching 7000 vessels under attendance.

Gross Tonnage (GT)

The GT is a cubic measure and describes the size of a ship; it is a dimensionless number, based on the total volume (V”) of a ship measured in m3, multiplied by a factor (k) that depends on the ship’s size. The GT measurement has been internationally binding since 1994.


Source: GL-Group, September 5, 2011;

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