GL class now accounts for 100 million gt

05 Sep 2011
Container ship ‘Santa Rosa’ brings the GL-classed fleet to more than 100 million gt

Container ship ‘Santa Rosa’ brings the GL-classed fleet to more than 100 million gt

Germanischer Lloyd (GL) reports that its current fleet under classification now exceeds 100 million gt, comprising more than 7,200 ships from over 1,900 shipping companies under regular technical supervision.

The ship which saw GL break the barrier was Hamburg Süd's 85,676gt Santa Rosa. The 300m container ship, built by South Korean shipyard Daewoo, is of 7,100TEU capacity and fulfils the requirements of the future EEDI which will soon become mandatory. Container ships, with 68%, form the majority of the GL-classed fleet, with 10% multi-purpose vessels, 9% bulk carriers and 7% tankers. GL class ships sail under 114 flags, the most prevalent being those of Antigua and Barbuda, Germany, Liberia, Singapore, Indonesia and Cyprus.

As well as container ships, tankers, bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, GL also classifies ferries, cruise ships, offshore supply vessels and wind turbine installation ships, as well as mega-yachts and leisure boats. In the first eight months of 2011 alone, total gross tonnage rose by 7 million tons. GL holds a global market share of just under 10% of the total number of ships under classification, though in the container ship and multi purpose vessel markets, GL claims market-leading shares of over 40% and 14% respectively.

"We have been able to double the fleet in class over the last six years," explains Erik van der Noordaa, CEO of the GL Group, "and we want to have achieved the next 10 million gt by the end of next year."

According to GL, since its founding in 1867, it has experienced several phases of strong growth. When the first ship classification register was published in October 1868, it counted 272 sailing ships of wood and one of steel. Only five years later, the GL register listed 1,870 ships sailing under 19 different flags. In 1914, there were 2,922 ships with 5,503,923 grt in class. However, the great depression and the two World Wars took their toll, only at the beginning of the 1960s did the register again list more ships than in 1914. The expansion of the merchant fleet and the introduction of computer technology in shipbuilding led to a continuous rise in the fleet under attendance. At GL’s 125th anniversary in 1992, there were 4,200 seagoing ships with 18 million gt in class. In 2005, GL attended to the safety of over 5,730 vessels with 50 million gt. Two years later GL's fleet in service counted 70 million gt. 20 million more GT followed over the next three years, with the fleet in service also reaching 7,000 vessels.

GL points out that gross tonnage (gt) a cubic measure describing the size of a ship, based on the total volume measured in m3, multiplied by a factor that depends on the ship's size. The gt measurement has been internationally binding since 1994.

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