Ships with the Greek flag are becoming less common in the Adriatic Sea, as the domination of Italian shipping is now confirmed, a Kathimerini report says.
After the exit of Minoan sealines from the Adriatic, only the Attica Group and ANEK consortium has remained in a sea that used to be dominated by Greek ships in the 1990s.
According to the newspaper report, Greek shipping companies faced fierce competition from Italy, based on flexible and reduced manning of ships, state subsidies, and lower security contributions and value added tax rates. Eventually, Greek ships in the Adriatic were displaced by Italian.
On the other hand, Greek shipping in recent years had to grapple with increased tax burdens while operating in an outdated, non-competitive environment.
At the end of the 1990s, more than 40 ships were sailing the Adriatic with the Greek flag. In recent years, their number had been reduced to 10.
Today, only seven Greek ships sail in the Adriatic. The Minoan ships left at the end of 2016 and now are limited to the Aegean, with the company restructuring its routes.
The loss of Greek shipping in the Adriatic was a loss for the overall Greek economy. Profits from the Adriatic routes were covering losses in the Aegean, where competition is fierce. It is characteristic that just before the outbreak of the financial crisis in Greece, shipping turnover from the Adriatic was 57% and 36% was from Greek routes. The remaining was from international routes.