This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 6/17/2019


Posidonia 2018 opened with global shipping in a much less dire situation than at the time of the last Posidonia in 2016.  The Baltic Dry Index (DBI), the shipping sector’s leading index, has been slowly recovering from its 2016 historic low of 290 points and give signs of settling around 1,300 which is still only just above a tenth it’s all-time-high in 2008.  A recent increase in the number of new tankers delivered is triggering consolidations among tanker players similar to what has been seen in the the container market. 
Greek shipowners continue to possess the largest merchant marine fleet in the world with the Greek-owned fleet accounting for 7.6 percent of the world’s fleet in terms of ship numbers. This corresponds with 13.8 percent in terms of GT and 16.4 percent in terms of DWT.  Industry “hot topics” include new environmental regulations and technology issues such as cyber security and the move towards greater levels of autonomy and digitization.
March 2018 year on year data showed that the Greek controlled fleet increased in terms of number of vessels, DWT and GT.  According to the data, Greek interests controlled 4,148 vessels of various categories, of 341,925,357 total DWT and 199,286,013 total GT. Compared with the previous year’s data, this represents an increase of 63 vessels, 13,161,590 DWT and 6,855,494 GT. The figures include 200 vessels of various categories on order from shipyards, a total of 23,953,312 DWT and 14,205,765 GT.

February 20073,699218,229,552129,765,470
February 20084,173260,929,221154,599,274
February  20094,161263,560,741156,214,619
February 20103,996258,1221,898152,616,046
March 20113,848261,675,981153,128,919
March 20123,760264,054,167155,904,976
March 20133,677265,536,520155,988,384
March 20143,901290,847,132170,984,684
March 20154,057314,456,451184,063,875
February 20164,092320,597,574,188,904,194
March 20174,085328,763,767192,430,519
March 20184,148341,925,357199,286,013
Source: Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee based on data from the Lloyd's Register - March 2018

The Greek-controlled fleet is registered under 41 different flags. A “flag analysis’ of Greek owned shipping by parent companies, indicates the Greek flag remaining the largest in terms of DWT with 21.8% of the total DWT of the Greek owned fleet. Malta’s flag comes next with 694 ships totaling 63,893,903 DWT, Panama’s flag with 355 ships totaling 24,169,452 DWT, Cyprus’ flag with 274 ships totaling 20,378,898 DWT and the Bahamas’ flag with 247 ships totaling 18,269,328 DWT. 
The average age of the Greek controlled fleet increased slightly compared to the previous year, but, nevertheless, continues to be 2.8 years below the average age of the world fleet --   10.6 years for Greek ships compared with a world average of 13.4 years.  Many Greek shipowners have been successful in modernizing their fleets while maintaining sufficient financial strength to be able to react quickly when they sense opportunities to re-invest in larger, more modern and efficient vessels.  
British and Dutch commercial interests are strong in Greece but U.S. marine equipment and service providers continue to be well represented and well received.  U.S. businesses should be aware that Greek shipowners become personally involved in most decisions and when it comes to choosing technologies Greek shipowners tend to be part of the decision, rarely leaving matters exclusively to technical managers.  This applies also to the Greek shipowners who live and operate outside of the country because they often process their decision through their offices and “trusted staff” in Greece.   The term “trusted” refers to Greek shipowners’ inner circle where blood relatives and/or people from his/her native part of Greece hold key company positions.
As shipping in Greece is a predominantly family business, it is sometimes hard to know who exactly are the largest industry players.  This may occur because the assets of the ship owners may suddenly become separated or merged, rearranging the picture.  It is also worth noting that it is the family name of the ship-owner which is usually known around the shipping business communities and not so much the name of companies managing the fleets.  Greece continues to top lists of worldwide shipping in 2018.  Twelve Greeks are among the 100 most important in the industry according to “Lloyd’s List Top 100 2018 which ranks the Shipping industry’s most influential people. 
Market Entry
The U.S. Commercial Service in Athens believes U.S. firms can find significant opportunities in the Greek shipping market.  Due to the nature of the shipping sector and some of the complexities of the Greek market, we believe that the best way for American companies to be successful in this market is to partner with local Greek firms.  The U.S. Commercial Service stands ready to introduce American companies to potential Greek partners.
Trade shows are also an excellent way of gaining exposure within the established Greek shipping market. Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition, held every two years in Athens, Greece is one of the world’s premier shipping exhibitions and a recognized showcase for the international maritime and shipping industries.

Best Prospects

Best prospects for U.S. firms in the Greek marine and shipping sectors include:
Communication aids, computer and software applications, navigation aids, radar, safety equipment, coatings and paints, cutting-edge navigation, maritime anti-piracy solutions and technology, maritime financial and insurance services, ship repair, and conversion products and services.  Greek ship-owners are currently keenly interested in technologies for LNG and LPG carriers, for offshore supply vessels, drilling rigs and container ships. There have been and continue to be a number of port privatizations in Greece. Offshore energy exploration, underwater pipelines and planned offshore LNG facilities provide additional opportunities. 
Posidonia Trade Show
For the 16th consecutive time, the U.S. Commercial Service in Athens organized a U.S. Pavilion at the 25th edition of Posidonia June 4-8, 2018. The event was a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Trade Fair.  Posidonia provided direct access to Greek shipping and the owners of the largest fleet under the control of any one national group, dominating the new builds order book.  In addition to the main event, there are numerous seminars and gatherings where companies can obtain exposure to Greece’s shipping decision makers. 
Participation in the U.S. Pavilion offers un-matched worldwide business expansion opportunities for the U.S. shipping industry and related U.S. service and supply sectors.
Posidonia is a biennial event. The next edition of Posidonia will be in June 2020.
Trade Events
Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition
June 2020 (biennial)
Metropolitan Expo, Athens International Airport
Athens, Greece

 Web Resources
Posidonia Exhibitions SA

Hellenic Chamber of Shipping

Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy
Resources & Contacts
Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy
Akti Vasiliadi
185 10 Piraeus
Tel: +30 210 4191700 & 4064700
Fax: +30 210 4191561,   4191562 - 210 419156
Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A
Inside the Port
54 110, Thessaloniki, Greece
Tel: +30 2310 593121
Fax: +30 2310 510500
Piraeus Port Authority (OLP)
10 Akti Miaouli Street
185 38 Piraeus, Greece
Tel: +30 210 4550229
Fax: +30 210 4550310
Union of Greek Shipowners
85 Miaouli Street
185 38 Piraeus, Greece
Tel: +30 210 4291159 through 65
Fax: +30 210 429 1166
Commercial Specialist:


Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

Greece Distribution and Logistics Trade Development and Promotion