Athens: A major Shipping Centre

World "first" for the Greek capital, which displaced Singapore in second place

According to DNV Classification Society and consulting firm Menon Economics' Leading Maritime Cities 2022, which focuses on cities that play a leading role in the global maritime economy, Athens has reclaimed its position as a global shipping centre.

In order to evaluate each city's position in this global ranking, the publication focuses on five pillars.


The first pillar is whether the city is a Shipping Centre, which essentially means whether it is home to many shipping companies and a significant portion of the merchant fleet, the infrastructure in financial and legal services (Maritime Finance and Law), investments in new shipping technologies (Maritime Technology), port infrastructure and logistics (Ports and Logistics), and finally the wider operational institutional framework (Attractiveness and Competitiveness).


The findings are based on responses from 280 respondents, including shipowners, executives, shipping companies, experts, analysts, and others, with 50% based in Asia, 25% in Europe, and the remaining 25% in the United States, Africa and the Middle East. Athens is first in the "Shipping Centre" category, followed by Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hamburg. According to the report, in comparison to 2019, more shipping operations are moving to Asian shipping centres, resulting in traditional European shipping centres falling out of the top ten, with the exception of Athens, which has reclaimed first place, displacing Singapore in second.

According to the report, property has traditionally dominated European cities, but this is gradually changing as Asian shipowners grow their fleets faster and increase their market share to 42 percent of the global fleet, up from 36 percent in 2012.


The European fleet's share has decreased from 45 percent to 43 percent, but Athens is moving in the opposite direction, with a 20 percent increase in managed fleet tonnage in 2019 compared to 2018. The city's strong points are its large and powerful ship ownership, as Greek shipowners have played a leading role in the international shipping industry for decades and are expected to continue to do so in the future.


The maritime complex

The maritime complex also provides top-notch services to the shipping community, including shipping activities, technical management, and crews, among other things. Greek shipowners are also among the first to invest in new fleet technologies. In line with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by half by 2050, Athens leads the race for orders for ships that will use alternative fuels such as LNG, LPG, and methanol, with 1.3 million gt on the table, followed by Tokyo with 1.2 million gt.


However, Athens continues to serve primarily Greek shipowners and fewer international shipping companies, a flaw that the Hellenic Shipowners' Association has been highlighting for years, with its president Theodoros Veniamis emphasizing the need to adapt the institutional framework to our country and shipowners outside the EU.


As a result, when forecasting the future, experts predict that Singapore will be the largest shipping hub, followed by London, Athens, and Hong Kong.


Finally, Singapore is the leading city in maritime services (Leading Maritime City) based on all five indicators (Shipping Centre, Maritime Finance and Law, Maritime Technology, Ports and Logistics, Attractiveness and Competitiveness), with Rotterdam, London, Shanghai, and Tokyo rounding out the top five. Athens is ranked 12th, ahead of cities with high scores in categories other than "Shipping Centre," such as port infrastructure, technology investment, financial and legal services, and, most importantly, the attractiveness and competitiveness of the wider business. Factors that are influenced not only by shipping and shipping companies, but also by government and legislator interventions, as well as the country's location on the global trade route.

By fLEXI tEAM