ATHENS – Launching this weekend following a four-year pause, the return of the maritime industry’s highly anticipated Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition commenced with the resumption of its signature social and sports events including the Posidonia sailing race, running event, and ‘shipsoccer’, basketball, and golf tournaments.
Expected to attract over 18,000 international visitors, the exhibition (June 6-10) is held at the Athens Metropolitan Exhibition Centre, where 1,929 companies from 88 countries are this year exhibiting their products and services. In addition, 68 panels and seminars featuring shipping industry decision and policy makers, regulators, and government officials from around the world, will run in parallel to the exhibit.
“We have grown by 7% since the 2018 edition, an increase that reflects the dynamism, vigor, and progress of Greek shipping which invests heavily to upgrade the quality and technology of existing vessels, diversify its offering by adapting it to the needs of the markets, and to renew its fleet with the addition of newbuilds designed to meet new regulations,” said Theodore Vokos, Managing Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A.
The might and investment appetite of the Greek shipowners community, which controls 21% of global deadweight tonnage, are the main reasons for Posidonia’s global appeal. Greece remains the world’s largest ship owning nation with a fleet of 5,514 vessels and represents 59% of the EU-controlled fleet. The Greek-owned fleet grew by 7.4% since 2019, growing by 45.8% since 2014.
Leaders in global seaborne trade, Greek shipowners control over 30% of the world tanker fleet, 20% of world bulk carriers, almost 16% of global LNG/LPG carriers, and almost 10% of world containerships, according to a 2021 report by the Union of Greek Shipowners.
Another key attraction for this year’s Posidonia is the more than thirty tech startups who will be showcasing their technological innovations designed to provide digital-first solutions to various challenges and problems facing the industry.
The maritime industry’s challenges to be discussed at the event’s conferences and seminars include human wellbeing in shipping, preventing maritime incidents through data and analytics, diversified crewing strategy, maritime cybersecurity, and addressing safety concerns on the road to net-zero shipping.
“Sustainability through de-carbonization of shipping as well as the lack of deck and engine officers for the staffing of the global fleet, are the issues we should address all together, government authorities, shipping stakeholders and the industry,” said Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy Giannis Plakiotakis. “The Greek government fully supports the need for shipping activities to achieve zero emissions by 2050,” he added.
Ioannis Martinos, CEO of The Signal Group, said that, “policy-makers should be more decisive. Shipowners need clarity, they are not chemists. Scientists and policy-makers need to guide them and tell them which direction they should move toward,” said Kathimerini.
The British valuation and market intelligence company VesselsValue published a report on the evolution of Greek ship ownership in the four years since the last event held before the COVID-19 pandemic struck hard. The report showed the owners have increased the number of vessels by 11 percent, buying 474 more and have 4,766, with their value soaring 92 percent and now worth $158.97 billion, almost double the $82.85 billion in 2018.
UKRAINE WAR AND IRAN’S SHIP SEIZING THE BACKDROP FOR THE CONFERENCE
Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis greeted the return of Posidonia that comes against the backdrop of Iran having seized two Greek vessels in retaliation for Greece helping the United States confiscate oil from a tanker off Greece’s coast.
“Holding the two vessels hostage violates any sense of law, upsets the regulatory system on maritime legislation and threatens the security of shipping and global trade,” the minister said, asking the world shipping community to pressure Iran.
The President of Greek shipowners union, Melina Travlou, said the situation is “unheard of and unprecedented,” and asked her world peers and colleagues to back Greece and an effort to “get this over and done with.”