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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More ship owners opt for the Hellenic Registry

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A total of five vessels, most of which are new building currently under construction mostly in Asian shipyards, are expected to fly the Hellenic flag. The ships belong to companies like Minerva Marine, Cardiff Marine and Irika Shipping. Minerva, owned by prominent ship owner Andreas Martinos, member of the well-known shipping family, also active with companies like Thenamaris, chose to fly the Hellenic flag for its newbuilding tanker “Minerva Vera” and the dry bulk carrier “Parapola”. The company’s fleet includes about 35 ships, out of which 34 are tankers and chemical tankers, while there is also one dry bulk carrier. What’s notable is that the vast majority of the fleet -31 ships to be exact- are flying the country’s flag, with only four ships registered in Malta.
Cardiff Marine and Irika Shipping also opted for the Hellenic flag regarding their vessels, two of which are tankers under construction named “Mintoro” and “Pegasus” and one dry bulk carrier “Iorana”, previously flying the flag of Panama.
The Hellenic registered shipping fleet returned to higher ground during March, as was the case from October onwards with the exception of February. According the latest monthly report released by the National Statistics Agency, vessels flying the country's flag were increased by two during March, despite the fact that many older dry bulk carriers have kept on exiting the market and sold for scrap. The total number of ships reached 2,088 in February, up from 2,086 in February, but down from 2,089 from January. In terms of the tonnage’s total capacity, it now stands at 39,844,012 tons, versus 39,554,679 tons during the previous month.
As expected, the dry bulk fleet numbers kept falling, now standing at 621 vessels, against 622in February. But, the tonnage capacity managed to edge higher, with the dry bulk fleet’s tonnage now standing at 14,914,456 tons, versus 14,903,657 tons in February, 15,057,904 tons in January and 15,078,971 tons in December.
Despite the fall of the dry bulk fleet at least in numbers and not in capacity, numbers kept increasing in the tanker side, with five more vessels entering the Hellenic Registry, bringing the total tanker fleet at 533 vessels bearing a total capacity of 23,247,755 tons, up from 528 units with a capacity of 22,906,121 tons in January. As for the rest of the fleet (passenger ships and other types), it was decreased by two vessels to reach 934 units in January.
Accumulatively, from December of 2000 until March of 2009, the number of vessels flying the Hellenic flag has been increased by 6.2%, with the most notable rise being in the ships’ capacity, which is higher by 45.8% (versus 44.7% until February of 2009). Similarly, the number of tankers flying the Hellenic flag has been increased by 16.6% and by 64.9% in terms of capacity.
On the dry side, vessel numbers are almost unchanged from 2000 (+0.6%), while from a capacity point of view, the growth stands at 25.5%, practically unchanged from the previous month. This is easily translated to bigger bulkers entering the fleet, with capasizes proving to be the most popular type.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News