The value of the Greek-owned merchant shipping fleet grew over 32% in the past three years and now stands at $132.58 billion, data from consultancy VesselsValue show.
The active fleet consists of 4,546 ships with a total value of $117.59 billion. To those add the 187 vessels under construction, worth $14.99 billion. The increase in value is mainly the result of higher fees for container and dry cargo ships, but even for tankers, where fees have not risen as much, there has been a significant increase in value.
It is not only the value of the fleet that has risen over those three years. Its composition and size have also changed. The number of vessels may have not changed much – operating plus under construction ships stand at 4,833 from 4,574 in 2018 – but the average tonnage per ship has increased, according to data by the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee.
The VesselsValue research, conducted for Kathimerini, reveals the change in composition: In 2018, tankers accounted for the highest value among Greek-owned ships, followed by dry cargo and liquid natural gas (LNG) transport ships. Container ships were a distant fourth. In 2021, dry cargo ships have overtaken tankers in value and container ships have climbed to third place.
Specifically, dry cargo ships, both operational and under construction, are worth $46.7 billion, while tankers are worth $39.1 billion. Container ships or boxships, as they are also called, are worth $23.46 billion. Greek-owned boxships number 441, compared to 1,458 tankers and 2,326 dry cargo ships.
It is in the container ships category that there has been the highest increase in ships. In slightly over a year, the cost of transporting a 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container has risen from $1,000 to $12,000. This price jump has also revalued the ships. For example, a 10-year-old panamax container ship with a capacity of 4,500 TEU was valued at $9.5 million in June 2020 and $60 million in July 2021, according to data compiled by Clarksons Research.
A barometer index for global shipping, the Baltic Dry Index, for dry cargo ships, has risen 178% year-on-year and 203% since the beginning of 2021.