From the Metropolitan Expo at Riviera Attica to celebrate the Hellenic shipping's magnitude
Posidonia 2018 shows growing figures and performance, in terms of exhibition and traditional parties, thus substantiating the unbiased optimism of the top global maritime nation
Athens – Despite the tough economic and financial crisis which badly hurt Greece in past years, shipping business has risen again from the ashes.
In 2016 the maritime industry risked being knocked out when the economic recession grew so severely and the envisaged of subsidies' lifting forced shipowners to flee to tax havens.
Nevertheless, Hellenic shipowners determined to follow a strong policy to counter the Government's upcoming decision – dictated by Brussels – aimed at lifting those benefits approved in 1974 (somehow unfairly but supported by the huge economic help they had been providing the Country, actually reaching 19 billion Euro record breaking figures in 2008); despite former disputes, today premier Tsipras (who formally opened the Posidonia convention) is an unexpected allied leading the country towards the upcoming revival.
Petros Pappas of Star Bulk was recently hurt by substantial debt, however he recently took over 15 ships from Songa Bulk and 16 from Augustea; George Economou of Dryships filed a request for composition with creditors a year ago and subsequently started investing again.
Athens shipowners are the only one in the world who can invest while the market is drastically dropping.
Athens orderbook in the last two years reached 9 billion dollars versus 7 recorded in China, and Greek shipowners took over 582 second hand ships (8.5 billion dollars).
Only those who can't breath the Greek shipowning air can be astonished by the fact that a country with 0.15 % of the global population can deploy 20% global tonnage.
When the economic crisis burst out in 2018 the Hellenic fleet reached 210 million dwt; in 10 years it doubled to 410 millions; over the last 6 years it grew by 50%, it doubled the global fleet (+25%) and the same growth ratio was recorded in the last two years (Greece: +11% - global: +6%). According to Shipping Finance, Greek shipowners control over 30% tankers and 25% bulker units globally.
Angeliki Frangou of Navios – which holds 208 units and 16.8 million dwt and controls the second largest private fleet globally after Anangel-Maran Gas of John Angelicoussis (24 million dwt, overpassing the whole Italian fleet, reaching 20 million dwt) – pinpointed the different mood of the convention compared to former edition, Posidonia 2016: “My hair has gone grey but my financial statement is now in black”. Shipping is for Greece, like wine for France and the Silicon Valley for technology.
Nikos Tsakos, President of Intertanko, John Platsidakis number one at Intercargo, Panos Laskaridis helm at ECSA and finally Anastasios Papagiannopolou leading BIMCO attended the event.
According to Minister of the Sea, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, the fact that only one fifth of the fleet backed by domestic interests is flying the national flag seems an insignificant detail; Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Malta registers are too economically appealing to foster a flag-back.
Alongside Posidonia 2018 several negotiations were also sealed.
Angelicoussis (Maran Gas) and Tsakos (TEN) negotiated quite substantial transactions while other attendees launched unprecedented initiatives; Martinos, introduced an innovative platform to control aframax tankers cargo; Mediterranean Tugs is the new consortium that will manage 32 tugboats in the Piraeus and Southern Greece.
Several Italian shipping expertise reached a particularly hot Athens to find new customers, new business initiatives and make new deals.
The spectacular bi-annual kermesse is a benchmark to assess the health of shipping business.
The Greek maritime community is renowned for being extensively skilled in anticipating market behaviour and sometimes also influence it.
Long life to the Vokos family; Theodore's grandfather, current Posidonia's director, who originally inaugurated the convention in 1968, today celebrating its 50th anniversary.
From Monday (June 4th) to Friday (June 8th), although considering parties, sport events, prequels and sequels, Posidonia actually takes a couple of weeks.