Greek shipowners are gaining a larger share of the global container ship fleet, challenging German KG partnerships as the primary providers of new charter ships in the wake of 2008 financial crisis and shrinking ship finance credit, Alphaliner reports.
German shipowners continue to dominate the container ship market, accounting for 57.4 percent of the non-operating owner capacity and 33.1 percent of overall capacity. However, their share is being eroded as Greek and U.K. owners grow more active in both the new ship and secondhand markets.
Greek shipowners have been involved in groups placing orders for 73 new ships since the beginning of the financial crisis in September 2008. Those orders had a total capacity of 463,000 20-foot equivalent units, or 44 percent of total capacity ordered by non-operating owners during the period.
In the same period, U.K.-based owners placed orders for 35 vessels of 241,000 TEUs, or 23 percent of the total capacity ordered, with much of this ordered by U.K.-based Zodiac Maritime Agencies.
In contrast, German owners placed new orders for 37 units for only 161,000 TEUs, or 15 percent of the capacity ordered, according to Alphaliner’s survey as of July 2012. It said the order for 10 new ships of 13,800 TEUs by Greek shipowner Enesel earlier this month reflects the growing interest from nontraditional owners in the container ship market, who have been drawn in by historically low prices for new ships and a relatively healthy outlook for modern fuel efficient tonnage. Enesel will charter those ships to Evergreen Group when they are delivered in the second half of 2013.
Alphaliner said the order underscores a shift in investment interest among Greek owners from their traditional tanker and bulk carrier sectors, which have been hit by severe overcapacity, relatively flat global demand and resulting low rates.