Ship owners from Greece control almost 50% of EU dwt tonnage. Despite the financial difficulties in the global maritime industry, Greece is controlling an impressive size of its fleet. Hellas is still taking the first place in the world (size of its fleet), controlling 3,669 vessels (over 1,000 GT). This impressive number represents 16.16% of the global fleet (deadweight tonnage).
The most of the vessels are managed by companies located in Greece, despite the increased taxation and the financial difficulties of the country. Maritime industry brings about 7% of the country’s GDP. Many people relay on shipping for their job. The maritime business in Greece is an important column of the country's economy. Shipping industry in Greece is important not only for the country, but also for the European Union.
In the mid-1990s, Japan was at second place, behind Greece, but the boom in the maritime industry in Japan in the 2000s allowed the Asian country to take the first place. After some years of struggling, Greek owners managed to regain the first place in 2014 with total 164m GT. Hellas showed increased investments not only in the newbuilding, but also at the second hand markets for the first months of 2014.
The decision of making investments is pursuing one goal - better position in expectations of a market recovery. Statistics show that the owners search for second hand vessels. Results show $3,3bn for 131 vessel purchases, compared to the first months of the last year when money invested were equal to $1bn.