Asia/Pacific based owners could get back at the lead as largest market holders of the world fleet, thus reversing the recent trend that saw European owners at the forefront.
Namely, Asia/Pacific based owners hold the largest proportion of the orderbook, 45.7%, with 23.2m GT more on order than their European counterparts, according to Clarksons.
“This could reshape recent fleet developments, with Asia/Pacific owners getting back to the fore. Similarly, the European orderbook is dominated by private companies, holding 66.6% of the 65.4m GT on order. Consequently, public companies may see lower levels of annual fleet growth,” Clarksons said.
The world fleet has experienced a sustained period of growth during the last decade, with owners based in the Asia/Pacific region responsible for the largest share of this expansion. However, since the start of 2014, European owners have regained market share, with public companies growing at the fastest rate.
Since the start of 2014, the European owned fleet has grown by 49.4m GT, accounting for 51.6% of global fleet growth. This has seen European owners retain a steady market share, accounting for 43.9% of global tonnage at the end of 2013 and 44.5% of the fleet at the start of May 2016, Clarksons’ data shows.
During the same period Asia/Pacific owners have experienced a 0.9% decline in fleet share.
European fleet growth has been driven primarily by Greek owners, who have recorded a fleet growth of 31.9m GT since the start of 2014. In contrast the German fleet, Europe’s second largest, declined by 4.2m GT during the same period. Since the start of 2014, Greek fleet growth has been equivalent to 64.6% of total European growth, and 33.3% of global fleet expansion.
Historically European ownership has been dominated by private companies, who account for 71.4% of current tonnage, Clarksons explained.
However, during the last few years public companies have seen a stronger rate of fleet growth, with the public listed European fleet growing by 14.2m GT in 2015, double that of the privately owned fleet. Although the strongest rate of growth amongst Greek owners has remained in the private sector, unsurprising considering the strong traditional owner base, the public owned Greek fleet has still grown by 28.5% in the last two and a half years.
Listed Norwegian owners experienced fleet growth of 6.8m GT during 2015, whilst public listed Italian, Danish and Belgium based owners have also seen significant fleet growth since 2014.
Overall, the European public owned fleet has grown by 30.9m GT since the start of 2014, compared to 28.4m GT of growth in the privately owned fleet.