February 8 - The actions of a number of leading heavy lift shipping lines, including Beluga, BBC, NSC and Rickmers, in registering their ships under the Liberian flag has helped the West Africa state to double the size of its flagged fleet in the ten year

Following record growth figures in 2010 when the Liberian-flag fleet was boosted by 586 new registrations, 149 of which were newbuildings, the 3,500 ship milepost was reached with the registration of the 319,000 dwt oil/ore carrier G Whale.

Net growth was 338 ships, aggregating 13.6 million gross tonnes. The average age of the 586 new registrations was 5.46 years, compared to the 17.32 average age of those vessels removed from the registry. The average age of the Liberian-flag fleet is now 12 years. 

Scott Bergeron, chief operating officer of LISCR, says: "The growth under LISCR management is testament to the quality of service and responsiveness provided by the Liberian Registry. Furthermore, throughout the course of this rapid expansion, Liberia's Port State Control performance and its safety record with all independent rating bodies has been outstanding. We will continue to seek further selective, planned growth of our quality fleet, the average age of which is falling significantly as more and more owners join the registry."