Greek Shipping Market Draws Global Attention
As the Greek fleet expansion programme continues unabated, the world’s vessel registries are vying for the attention of the Greek owners and a slice of the 370 vessel deliveries they expect by 2016.
One of them, the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA), chose Posidonia week to launch its first ever offices in Greece, designed to help it get closer to the Greek maritime community.
“Through our new offices in Piraeus we hope to add more Greek tonnage in the portfolio of the Bahamas flag. The new office will also benefit the BMA’s efforts to maintain international shipping standards”, said Mr. Capt Dwain E. Hutchinson, Master Mariner Deputy Director of the Bahamas Maritime Authority.
For the Virgin Islands, its consistent presence at Posidonia has to do with its ambition to diversify its already successful business in yachts, super yachts and mega yachts industry by extending its profile to cargo ships. It plans to do so by gradually building its network before it launches its own offices in Greece on time for Posidonia 2016.
John Samuel, Director of Virgin Islands Shipping Registry said: “We offer a favourable regulatory framework, and depending on the ship owners the advantages can be variable. We have not entered the commercial market yet, but we would like so and through Posidonia we are making initial contacts.”
At the other side of the world, Africa’s Liberian Registry is – with the exception of the Hellenic Registry – the world’s top flag administration in terms of Greek –owned vessels.
“At this point in time, we service 678 ocean-going vessels belonging to Greek interests and in March alone, 17% of the Greek tonnage that entered Greek fleet portfolios selected the Liberian flag, further boosting our market share”, said Senior Vice President Michalis Pandazopoulos.
Liberia has enjoyed a head start over the BMA and other competing brands with its first ever vessel back in 1949 coming from a Greek client. Its Piraeus office is well established since it first opened in 2000 and today it employs a team of 13 which is growing even during the Greek economic recession.
However, competition for Liberia is growing stronger and is coming from the unlikely suitor of the Marshall Islands’ registry, headquartered in Mazuro the capital of this Pacific Ocean nation between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea.
According to Theo Xenakoudis, its Greece-based Business Operations Officer, the Marshall Islands Registry was the first flag choice for Greek shipowners for the year 2013.
“Between 40% to 45% of the tonnage and the vessels purchased by Greek shipowners within 2013 came to Marshall Islands flag. This is the result of the very strong office that we have in Piraeus manned by 15 professionals. Quality and access to services drive Greeks shipowners to our flag,” Mr. Xenakoudis said.
The Marshall Islands Registry last year added 123 ships from the Greek shipowners and more than 6 million gross tonnage. Greek shipowners account for more than 25% of the flag administrator’s total business. Recently, the Marshall Islands reached the 100 million tones milestones bringing it in the third position globally.
June 9, 2014