Celebrated since ancient times as natural born seafarers, the Greeks today stand at the helm of the modern shipping industry.
As over 90% of worldwide commercial trade is being transported by sea, Greeks lead the global shipping scene with ownership of some 52% of industry companies listed in the NYSE and NASDAQ. Enjoying their reputation at the top, Greek ship owners control over 4,900 vessels today, according to London-based Clarksons Shipping Intelligence Network, while in terms of deadweight (DWT) capacity, the Greek fleet ranks number one, sailing ahead of giant industry players like Japan and China.
“Greece is just a small country on the map but we do have an industry in which we are the first, and there are not many countries can claim the same,” Theodore Vokos, executive director of the Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition, told Portes. “This is something we should be proud of, and it has nothing to do with the state, it’s pure Greek entrepreneurship,” he added.
Originally developed by Greek entrepreneurs through overseas companies, modern Greek maritime activity grew in popularity in Greece in the 1970s, reaching its peak in 1979, preceding a large shipping crisis. The Greek shipping industry over the decades has managed to compete on a global scale, however, and despite rough economic times, now represents 16% of worldwide cargo capacity, as well as one of the most important sectors of the Greek economy.
Read the full length story here.