ATHENS – The shipowner and CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings and Navios Maritime Partners, Angeliki Frangou, expressed her optimism about shipping, as she participated in this year’s Posidonia International Exhibition.
More specifically, during a dinner held at the National Gallery in the context of this exhibition, Frangou noted that her optimism stems from a key parameter: the increase in tonnage.
Frangou acknowledged that the global geopolitical and macroeconomic landscape is more uncertain amid the development of COVID-19 in Asia where the recovery has not been completed, and the effects of the tragic war in Ukraine.
“I am optimistic about the future,” she said. “But I wish it were for different reasons.”
Frangou pointed out that the worst of the pandemic is weakening in the West and consumer behavior is returning to pre-pandemic levels. Spending on travel, entertainment and other services is increasing.
But in the East things are different and China is continuing its strategy for zero COVID.
At the same time, the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia are accelerating inflation and rising interest rates, she added.
“It’s impossible to know what all this means. “There are many possible consequences for analysis,” she said.
However, she explained that in shipping, people look through the lens of tonnage.
“From this point of view, we are very optimistic,” she said.
The positive outlook stems from two factors: changes in processing in the aftermath of the COVID-19 and changes in freight routes as a result of the war in Ukraine.
As she pointed out, the Russian gas and oil supplies on which Europe relied, as well as the wheat supplies from the country and Ukraine, now have to be transported from farther afield.
“Shifting the standard supply not only increased the price, but increased the tonnage,” she said. “We do not see it easing any time soon, but we are watching very closely.”
A similar message of optimism for the course of Greek shipping was shared by Frangou during her participation, on June 7, at the “Trade Winds Forum,” always in the context of Posidonia.
Frangou characteristically stated that “we are at the crossroads of history. In dry bulk and tankers, we are optimistic for different reasons. The tragic war in Ukraine is very positive for tons.”
“So we see that oil consumption due to travel is returning. This is a very positive event and we will see all products and later crude oil in recovery. Now, as far as containers are concerned, there is some frost there, because we have to say that the pandemic is upside down in the West. Then the substitution of goods by services changes. We are all here. We will all go out. We spend, we travel. We have great entertainment. So this will deduct from the dollar spent on goods. Thus, the disruption in the supply chain contains an area of greater concern about the frost we have,” she explained.
The powerful shipowner also shared with the public what should be the model of modern shipping. “The pandemic has made us rethink the model that shipping companies should have. Businesses should have a diversified portfolio of ships,” said Frangou.
For his part, regarding the ongoing crises, CEO of Danaos Giannis Koustas, said that “all these bottlenecks on land will really continue this disruption in the supply chain,” while for the container sector, he added that “container vessels benefit from this (e.g. the supply chain crisis) because they stay longer in ports.”
At the same time, the director of Capital Maritime & Trading, Evangelos Marinakis, said that “what we have seen in recent years with COVID, big lockdowns in the West and even bigger lockdowns in the Far East. I think we have seen the worst. “I am quite optimistic that China will open by the end of the year and consumption will return and we will enjoy a much better tanker market for the large ones as well as for the small ones, we are already seeing better markets.”