ATHENS – With one Greek-owned vessel entering a port somewhere around the world every six minutes on average, Greeks are global leaders in the maritime world. Some of the shipping sector’s leading names participated in the first-ever virtual edition of the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards, streamed free of charge on December 4. Keeping up with COVID-19 restrictions, the digital event took place in lieu of the maritime industry’s much anticipated Greek Shipping Awards gala hosted by Lloyd’s List every winter in Athens.
Emceed by Nigel Lowry of Lloyd’s List and ERT news anchor Adriana Paraskevopoulou, the show saw awards in 18 categories of achievement, presented with full respect paid to social distancing and health precautions.
“Greek shipping is truly global,” Lowry said. “Not a day goes by without Greek ships calling in ports all over the world. Following global demands for transportation of energy, food, and other critical commodities and manufactured goods, the Greek-owned fleet racks well over 200,000 port calls each year.”
The online event highlighted the global nature of Greek shipping with exclusive data showing the frequency of Greek ship port calls around the world. Other themes that emerged as the evening unfolded included the industry’s concern for its seafarers during the Coronavirus crisis as hundreds of thousands remained marooned at sea, the importance of sustainability in shipping technology, and the resilience of the country’s passenger shipping industry in maintaining services to the Greek islands.
For the first time in 16 years, a woman walked off with the Greek Shipping Personality of the Year Award. The panel of industry judges, which sifted through more than 200 nominations for the 18 awards, selected Anna Angelicoussi of Alpha Bulkers, Alpha Gas and Pantheon Tankers for the honor, making her the first female victor in the category since Athina Martinou in the inaugural year of the awards in 2004.
Accepting the award on behalf of their mother were Frangiskos and Antonios Kanellakis. “We hope that better times will come with the recent announcement of successful vaccines being developed…,” Antonios Kanellakis said. “Hopefully we have learned a lot from this pandemic, most importantly not to take everything for granted. On a positive note, this might also pave the way for a united front in dealing with global matters such as climate change and world health issues,” he said.
Greek shipping legend Thanassis Martinos, meanwhile, was chosen as the winner of this year’s Lloyd’s List/Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award. Other top personalities recognized were President of the Passenger Shipping Companies Union, Michalis Sakellis, who was named Newsmaker of the Year.
“We are going to face a year that may be worse than 2020,” Sakellis said. “[support] will need to be even more substantial during 2021, which for passenger shipping will be the most crucial year since the 70s, since I began in shipping,” he said.
Suzanna Laskaridis, founder of Real Time Graduates and Blue Cycle, won the Next Generation Shipping Award for personalities under 40.
When accepting her award, Laskaridis highlighted the contribution of seafarers and students of the maritime industry. “As this difficult year nears its end, we would like to call upon all shipping companies and organizations to support seafarers in any way that they can. The stresses placed upon them are immense and cannot be ignored any longer,” Laskaridis said. “Furthermore, there are hundreds of young graduates striving for an opportunity in the shipping world. Please continue to support them, as they are the real next generation of shipping,” she said.
Notable winners of company awards included Atlantic Bulk Carriers, which scooped the Dry Cargo Company of the Year Award, and Okeanis Eco Tankers, named Tanker Company of the Year 2020. Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, was elected International Personality of the Year, the only award exclusively for non-Greeks, for his tireless efforts to solve the international crew change crisis. Other honorees included ONEX Shipyards, owner of the Neorion yard in Syros, for singlehandedly reviving the prospects for Greek shipbuilding and ship repair.