Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, as shipping is arguably the oldest form of occupation of the Greeks and has been a key element of Greek economic activity since ancient times. Today, shipping is the country's most important industry (worth €251.1 billion in 2014). It accounts for 6.5% of GDP, employs about 290,000 people (7% of the workforce), and represents 1,6/3 of the country's trade deficit. In 2015, the Greek Merchant Navy controlled the world's largest merchant fleet in terms of tonnage with a total DWT of 334,649,089 tons and a fleet of 5,226 Greek owned vessels, according to Lloyd's List,. Greece is also ranked in the top for all kinds of ships, including first for tankers and bulk carriers. Greek traditional shipping families are notable for their great wealth and influence in the industry.
Archaic & Classical period