A number of Greek shipowners are supporting local shipping despite the economic crisis. Despite the more expensive price of bearing the Greek flag and the bureaucracy associated with this, they are continuing to operate on the local market. There are currently 17.1 percent of ships held by Greek interests carrying the Greek flag though the figure has dropped from 24.1 percent seven years ago. Most ships of Greek interest are registered in Liberia and the Marshall Islands (both at 19 percent), followed by Malta (14.6 percent), Panama (11.3 percent), the Bahamas (6.9 percent) and Cyprus (6.2 percent).
This summer, the shipping families of Panagiotis Tsakos and Konstandinos Angelopoulos hoisted Greek flags on their new ships. This move by the two families has special significance at a time when Greek shipping is targeted by foreign interests wishing to absorb it. In resistance to this, Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd (TEN) raised the Greek flag on two of its ships at the end of June in a ceremony that took place at Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries in Romania. The event did not go unnoticed by the Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy that pointed to it as recognition of the significance of reinforcing the Greek fleet with modern state-of-the-art ships.
Just a few days later, ARCADIA, run by the family of Konstandinos Angelopoulos, hoisted the Greek flag on its tanker Aegean Unity – the second tanker in a line of six that all bear the Greek flag.
Marine Information Services point to the top 10 shipping companies that have Greek-flagged ships:
- The Ioannis Angelikousis Foundation has 89 Greek-flagged ships from a fleet of 99 vessels
- Andreas Martino’s Minerva has 39 Greek-flagged ships from a total fleet of 60 ships
- Diamantis Diamantidis’ Marmaras has 35 Greek-flagged ships from a total of 47
- Alpha Tankers, Amethyst and Pantheon Tankers of Anna Angelikousi Kanellaki have 31 Greek-flagged ships from a fleet of 45 ships
- Karastamatis, Kertsikov and Hatzieleftheriadis have 100% Greek-flagged ships in a fleet that numbers 30
- Peter Livanos’ Euronav and Gaslog have 22 Greek-flagged ships from a total of 91 ships
- Konstandinos Angelopoulos’ Arcadia and Aegean has 20 Greek-flagged ships in a fleet that numbers 28 ships
- Tsakos has 18 out of 70 Greek-flagged ships
- F. Lykardopoulou’s family enterprise, NEDA, has 17 out of 23 Greek-flagged ships
- The Vardinogiannis family’s AVIN has 17 out of 34 Greek-flagged ships.