The Liberian-flag fleet grew to a record 3,140 ships, aggregating 97.2m gross tons, in 2009. This represents a net growth during the course of the year of 215 ships and 10.5m gross tons.
2009 was a landmark year for the Liberian Registry. It was the year in which the 3,000th vessel was registered under the Liberian flag, and it was the year in which the agreement between the Liberian Bureau of Maritime Affairs and LISCR covering the management of the registry was extended for a further ten years.
Scott Bergeron, Chief Operating Office of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the U.S.-based manager of the Liberian Registry, said, “The past twelve months have been a difficult period for shipping. The worldwide economic recession, plummeting freight rates, higher operating costs, the increased incidence of piracy attacks, and the unscheduled transfer of tonnage into lay-up to await more favourable market conditions, were just some of the more serious problems to have affected shipowners and operators in 2009.
“The true test of any service provider in the international shipping industry comes in times of difficulty, rather than in the good years. The Liberian Registry is committed to helping its owners and operators to survive the current economic downturn and difficult market conditions and to be prepared in every way for safe and profitable operation. The continued healthy growth in the size of the Liberian-flag fleet confirms that we are succeeding in those objectives.”