ATHENS – Over 1,100 members of the Hellenic and international maritime communities gathered to honor the achievements of Greeks in shipping at the 16th annual Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards on December 6th – a most fitting date celebrating the patron of sailors, St. Nicholas.
Backed by a national fleet of mostly tanker, bulker and LNG vessels worth some $100 billion, Greece once again topped the global list of shipowning countries in 2019, followed by Japan and China, worth $89 and $84 billion, respectively, according to VesselsValue.
Organized by Lloyd’s List, an international maritime information provider established as a newspaper in 1734, the Greek Shipping Awards acknowledges notables in 18 categories including Ship, Seafarer, and Dry Cargo Company of the year.
The night’s theme, “mission impossible,” set the tone for an exciting program that also noted and raised awareness of the diverse serious challenges the shipping industry faces, including piracy and environmental protection.
Greece’s minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Yiannis Plakiotakis, opened the ceremonies with a video message to the audience, and Informa Managing Editor Richard Meade presented a donation on behalf of the event organizers to the Association of Naval Parents of Children with Special Needs (ARGO), in support of Greek seafarer families with special needs children.
Among winners this year were a number of young entrepreneurs including Thenamaris CEO Nikolas Martinos, who received the Next Generation Shipping Award; Elias and Panos Mallios of SeaBright by Mallios, who received the Technical Achievement Award; and CEO of DeepSea Technologies Roberto Coustas, who received the Intelligence Big Data Award.
“The award we received is proof that perseverance, honest work and passion to solve real problems is recognized and valued,” said 27-year-old Coustas. “Our goal is to make the entire shipping community more efficient…it’s more important than ever to make shipping sustainable, and I am sure that as we work together, we will achieve it,” he said.
The night included awards for M/Maritime and Levante Ferries as, respectively, Dry Cargo Company, and Passenger Line of the Year. Technomar Shipping’s George Youroukos was among other major names who won individual awards, while Latsco Shipping’s 36-year-old Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis took the stage to accept the award for Tanker Company of the Year.
Shipowner George Economou was named Greek Shipping Personality of the Year, while former Eletson director Gregory B. Hadjieleftheriadis was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Safety at sea was a major highlight during the evening, in light of growing environmental concerns and turbulent times. “My goal and vision is to continue my family’s tradition and to help our company reach greater heights. I consider of great significance, the safety of crew members and passengers, as well as respect for the environment,” said 15-year-old Despina Iliopoulou of the SeaJets family, who presented this year’s Safety Award to Vice Admiral Theodoros Kliaris, Chief of the Hellenic Coast Guard. “Safety is not a piece of candy…it is genuine interest and caring for those you love,” she said.
Held at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards hailed some of the industry’s top personalities and companies who performed well in 2019, in an effort to recognize achievement and meritorious activity in the Greek shipping industry, and promote Greece as a maritime center. Each year, winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges representing a broad cross-section of the Greek shipping industry.
The Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards were once again co-hosted by award-winning ERT broadcaster Andriana Paraskevopoulou, together with Lloyd’s List correspondent in Greece Nigel Lowry. Guests enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail reception hosted by Erma First, while China Classification Society offered the traditional champagne toast to the health of Greek shipping.
Tokyo-based ClassNK, a non-profit ship classification society dedicated to safety at the and the prevention of pollution in the maritime environment, was once again lead sponsor of the Greek Shipping Awards.
The 2019 Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards winners are: Dry Cargo Company of the Year, M/Maritime; Tanker Company of the Year, Latsco Shipping; Passenger Line of the Year, Levante Ferries; Shipbroker of the Year, Xclusiv Shipbrokers; Shipping Financier of the Year, Piraeus Bank; Technical Achievement Award, SeaBright; The Safety Award, Hellenic Coast Guard; The Sustainability Award, probunkers; Piraeus International Centre Award, Municipality of Piraeus; International Personality of the Year, Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou; Seafarer of the Year, Capt. Dimitrios Spanoudakis; Achievement in Education or Training; Dept. of Maritime Studies, University of Piraeus; Ship of the Year, “WorldChampion Jet”; Next Generation Shipping Award, Nikolas Martinos; Lloyd’s List Intelligence Big Data Award, DeepSea Technologies; Lloyd’s List/Propeller Club Lifetime Achievement Award, Gregory B. Hadjieleftheriadis; Greek Shipping Newsmaker of the Year, George Youroukos; and Greek Shipping Personality of the Year, George Economou.