Isle of Man Ship Registry sails into 2012 with record tonnage

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The Isle of Man Ship Registry has announced record tonnage for the year ending 2011, marking a positive start for 2012.

Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) (the datum used to compare the world’s ship registers and a year on year comparison) shows a 12% increase in total GRT, climbing steadily from 12.36m GRT at the end of 2010 to 13.84m GRT as we enter 2012. 

With these new numbers, the flag is now among the top 15 ship registries in the world and has demonstrated significant growth in the larger types of vessel registering, given that the register topped 10m GRT for the first time in its history in April 2009. The area which saw a particularly rapid take-up rate was the Asia Pacific region, notably Japanese and Singapore-based corporations, who are now more cogniscent of the flag’s value.

Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, said: “The growth in numbers shows that we are well placed to provide a more cost effective solution for registration without any compromise in quality or service for ship operators and owners. Having just recovered from the global crisis of 2008, ship owners are bracing themselves for another rocky year in 2012.  An oversupply of ships together with the global economic downturn is keeping freight rates down and making it difficult to keep vessels operating profitably in many sectors.”

“The uptake on the flag registration has been encouraging.  We are seeing an increased level of enquiries for vessels under construction or in-service which are planning to register, or change to Isle of Man registration. This hopefully will translate to an increased level of activities for us over the next 2-3 years especially across the Asia Pacific region.”

Alex Downie OBE MLC, the Department of Economic Development Political member with responsibility for shipping, said: “2011 was another very successful year for the Ship Registry, despite continuing global economic pressures. These figures demonstrate that, due to its world class service and support, the Isle of Man Ship Registry continues to be a flag of choice for merchant ships. I would like to congratulate the team at the Registry on this success and for continuing to provide a high level of customer service throughout this growth period.”

The ship registry’s high quality and service levels combined with a low cost fee structure are continuing to attract larger corporations involved in wet cargo (oil and gas) as well as dry bulk trades.  The cost savings offered by the Isle of Man Ship Registry are significant, especially for their larger vessels.

Maintaining the quality of the fleet and the Isle of Man’s results in the world’s port state control statistics and other quality benchmarks is still paramount. This year once again, the Isle of Man was recognised by the US Coast Guard and shared top place on the annual ‘Flag State Performance Table’ issued by the industry bodies.