down 13 per cent
fleet of ships flying the Maltese flag shrunk by 13.1 per cent to 36.6
million in dead weight tonnage last year, according to the Review of
Maritime Transport 2003 released by the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development.
As of 1 January 2003, Malta with its 247 oil tankers, 390 bulk
carriers, 337 general cargo ships and 31 container ships - had stood
in fourth place out of the six countries with open-registry fleets.
Total ships in Maltas fleet number 1,029. While Malta is on more
or less equal footing with other open registry fleets - such as those
of the Bahamas, Liberia and Cyprus - Panama, with over 4,000 ships,
is the undisputed leader in the sector.
While in 2002 Malta decreased its fleet by 13.1 per cent, Bermudas
tonnage decreased substantially by 22.2 per cent and decreases in fleets
of the other two major open registries - the Bahamas and Cyprus - were
about two per cent each.
In terms of the true nationalities of ships flying the Maltese flag,
over half of Maltas fleet is Greek-owned, with 594 vessels being
registered in Malta, while, at 92, the Russian Federation comes in second
and Turkey is in third with 85. Maltese-flagged fleet down 13 per cent