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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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04/06/18 12:57

Global shipping flexes its muscles in view of biennial Olympics

Posidonia 2018 reflects market optimism on 50th Anniversary with record number of exhibitors and more floor space booked

As many as 1,920 exhibitors from 92 countries and territories will participate at Posidonia 2018 as the world’s most prestigious shipping trade event is getting ready to celebrate its half-century anniversary. Marked by an all-time record in the number of participating companies and floor space, the event has raised the organisers’ expectations regarding the anticipated number of overall visitors to the exhibition, scheduled to be held from June 4-8 at the Athens Metropolitan Expo.

A total of 22 countries will deploy their national pavilions to showcase each nation’s collective shipping offering to a captive audience of sellers, buyers of maritime products and services and policy makers. Brazil and Poland will be debuting their pavilions next to the more established and traditional national presence of China, Japan, South Korea and western European countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and The Netherlands. Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping, the national shipping company of Azerbaijan, Bahri, the national shipping company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and International Maritime Industries, the new shipyard project by Saudi Aramco, have also chosen this as the global forum to present their new corporate identities.

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, and its partners - Lamprell Plc, National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) - chose Posidonia 2018 for the global unveiling of its International Maritime Industries (IMI) joint venture; when the yard is fully operational in 2022, IMI will offer new build and maintenance, repair and overhaul of vessels being spread on 11.8 sq.km as one of the world’s largest full-service maritime facilities. To date IMI has committed orders for 20 offshore rigs and 52 VLCCs to be built over the next decade.

As a true news Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) selected Posidonia 2018 as first non-cruise event to participate in. In addition a constellation of 40 thought provoking presentations, seminars, speeches and heated panel discussions are yet again expected to set the global shipping agenda and define the future of an industry that sits at the core of world economic developments.

The program will tackle shipping issues spanning shipping policy, trade and finance, energy, technology, port development, fuels and lubricants, water ballast treatment, the tanker and dry bulk market, hull performance, scrubbers, the environment, human performance and employment in shipping as well as claims and dispute resolution.

The icing on the cake, as it has become accustomed at Posidonia since 2012, is the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum, a must-attend event, offering inspiring and insightful debate; this year, the focus is on how advances in technology and alternative business models are rewriting the rules over how ships are owned, operated and traded. With more shipowners than ever before participating, the programme consists of two panel-led sessions; dry bulk and tankers. The conference will examine whether the fundamentals in the dry bulk sector are as secure as many expected, and how owners are adapting their strategy. And as technology, regulations and social demands are forcing changes in business practices, the forum will shed light on how companies can best adapt to survive in tough markets.

A similar topic will be tackled during BIMCO’s Power Panel which will debate some key developments impacting shipping business today with the focus being on challenges and future prospects for the dry bulk and oil tanker shipping markets, including the 2020 global sulphur cap experiment. The event will be hosted by its Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand and President Anastasios Papagiannopoulos.

The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) are organising, under the auspices of the Embassy of the United States in Greece, once more the ‘Trading in US Waters: Priorities and Solutions’ Seminar,  designed to assist the local shipping community and maritime stakeholders to acquire a fully integrated approach to U.S. requirements for vessels visiting U.S. ports; key issues will focus on specific topics like the Sulphur Requirements in 2020, the Digitalisation of Shipping, Cyber Security Realities and Risk Management.

Featuring industry leaders exchanging views on the future of shipping, the 6th Analyst & Investor Day is taking place at the Divani Caravel Hotel, in the framework of the Conference Programme of Posidonia 2018. The keynote speaker, IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, will set the tone of the Capital Link Forum, which will discuss the current status and future projections of the financial and capital markets in relation to the shipping industry. The forum will also address issues of critical importance to shipping, such as access to and availability to capital, bank and alternative finance, as well as the impact of technology and new regulations.

Other highlights include HELMEPA’s conference ‘2020 is closer than we think: Scrubbers, Fuels and BWT’ as the deadline for compliance to the new sulphur regulations is fast approaching; with the standards for such fuels still to be formulated, and other serious concerns still remaining in regard to the availability and safety of low sulphur bunkers and scrubbers, the event is expected to

attract a full house of delegates, featuring expert speakers from both the technical and regulatory level, from Greece and abroad, to provide answers to many of the challenges still lying ahead on these crucial issues.

The Japan Seminar at Posidonia 2018 will focus on the role of innovation in the maritime industry and its impact on environmental conservation and technology; speakers will also share insights on the current state of innovations in Japanese Shipbuilding and Marine Machinery, as well as on market trends in the shipbuilding market.

The presence of the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Kitack Lim and European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc is adding further gravitas to Posidonia’s universal appeal which is reaffirmed by the confirmed attendance of a host of other VIPs including Shipping, Maritime and Mercantile Marine Ministers from 7 countries.

“The Greek mercantile marine sector has played a crucial role in the economic and social development of Greece, helped enhance the country’s international reputation and contributed in the cohesion and new job creation efforts of local communities everywhere across the nation. Posidonia is a timeless institution advocating globally the best example of how our country has to show in terms of entrepreneurship and productivity” Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Panagiotis Kouroumplis said, speaking before the event opens this week.

The 16% floor space increase of the biennial exhibition, regarded as one of the most influential maritime gatherings globally, reflects the resilience of the Greek shipping sector and the sheer size of the Hellenic-owned fleet, which controls the largest fleet and the greatest cargo carrying capacity, representing about 20% of the global world fleet in dwt terms.

“Posidonia manages to remain contemporary and relevant through time and I believe that, today more than ever, this is much needed. After a long period of recession, the markets are beginning to show positive signs and the most highly acknowledged international shipping forum provides a reliable platform to present maritime innovations and initiate business relationships. As always, the  Exhibition demonstrates also the dynamism and importance of Greek shipping for the welfare of our country, the EU and the rest of the world. Maintaining the first position internationally, Greek shipping continues to carry our maritime tradition forward. This is an honour and duty bestowed on our shipping community and every one of us separately and we are determined to defend it against any challenge” President of the Union of Greek Shipowners Theodore Veniamis noted.

“We are to promote new achievements and technological advancements of products and services which will be exhibited by countries, institutions and private exhibitors. Owning the largest fleet in the world, with 4.727 vessels of a 365 million dwt, the Greek shipping industry attracts shipyards, shipping equipment manufacturers, investors and any other shipping supplies and services, aiming to the further growth of this dynamic sector. As Greece is a safe and hospitable country and the biggest shipping nation globally it is fitting that our country is hosting the industry’s most important event” President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping George Pateras commented.

“Posidonia’s perpetual appeal amongst exhibitors, trade visitors and conference delegates is propelled by the continuous investment spree of Greek shipowners, who collectively and constantly improve the competitiveness of shipping. The size of the Greek orderbook continues to command the attention of the global maritime community which takes notice of the major upgrades that the Greek-owned fleet is undergoing in response to regulatory compliance requirements and the need to adopt quality-enhancing technological innovations. Our shipowners’ commitment and desire to maintain Greece’s global lead in a sector which accounts for 95% of global trade is the beacon that guides tens of thousands of visitors to Athens every second year” Theodore Vokos, Executive Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., stressed.

As a matter of fact over 260 ships built to high specs, with many of them Tier II and Tier III compliant, are on order for Greek interests at the dawn of 2018, 105 of them contracted in 2017.

The spending spree is regulation driven and stems from the recent ratification of the ballast water treatment treaty and type approvals by the US Coast Guard, as well as new regulations regarding SOX and NOX emissions and Monitoring, Reporting and verification (MRV) requirements, which have speeded up investment in scrubbers, LNG fueled ships and digitalisation of operations.

With Greek interests currently running the most modern fleet globally and operating across the globe, compliance with new environmental regulations is a must for Greek shipowners. Some shipping companies predict that new environmental regulations will make 25% of today’s global fleet obsolete, giving reason to invest $1,1 billion in upgrading 71 ships and ordering new ones.

It is estimated that Posidonia contributes Euro 62 million to local businesses in hospitality, catering, corporate events and road transportation. The evend is organised under auspices of Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and Union of Greek Shipowners and with support of Municipality of Piraeus and Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.

 

Angelo Scorza

 

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