Hellenic-owned fleet keeps growing

Athens - The Greek Ship Owners released its annual report.

Athens - The Greek Ship Owners association has released its annual report.

Download it here.

This is Theodore E. Veniamis relation.

The past year was full of major challenges, difficulties and reversals, while, the prospects for the period ahead seem equally demanding for Greek shipping, both internationally and nationally. At an international level, Greek shipping has demonstrated that it has all the prerequisites to successfully address these challenges and maintain its leading position in the global ranking of the shipping industry, in spite intense pressures due to the prevailing conditions of a constantly volatile freight market. The numbers indicate that: 16.25 % of the world fleet and 46.7 % of the EU fleet in terms of dwt capacity is under Greek-ownership. These high percentages, combined with the quality of the Greek-owned fleet, the vast majority of which consists of new ships with high-technology, and the long experience of Greek shipowners in offering reliable and high quality services, strengthen the leading role of Greek shipping in the seaborne transportation of world trade. Moreover, these figures also demonstrate the strategic importance of the Greek shipping industry, given the dependence on shipping of modern society, and therefore of Governments around the world, in order to ensure the sufficiency of supply in energy, raw materials and food stuffs, a dependence which increases in times of geopolitical crisis. This parameter is a priority at the political level for states as well as for entire geographical regions, which wish to develop their own shipping. In such a case, national maritime policies should have a common approach: the adoption of a framework for the operation of shipping, which would ensure its viability and ability to meet the extremely tough and ever changing conditions of international competition. Conditions, which in recent years due to the growing environmental requirements and advanced technical standards, which shipping has to comply with, make shipping investment and operation even more risky and unpredictable under any economic conditions. In June 2014, the organization of the Posidonia International Exhibition in Athens will once again bring the achievements and the stakeholders of this multidimensional maritime industry and the international services they offer to the centre of global interest.

This celebration of shipping, which has become an international maritime institution, gives the opportunity to Greece, holding the leading position in the shipping industry internationally, to re-confirm and highlight its prominent role in international trade. The broad publicity that shipping will attract in the context of Posidonia, which usually performs its work quietly, will hopefully act as a catalyst, at the political level, so that practicable and realistic approaches to shipping issues prevail in the organizations of the United Nations, the European Union and our major trading partners. At national level, while Greece has at long last entered a positive route in its economic stabilization, Greek shipping had to face, for the first time in recent history, a crisis in the maintenance of its stable legal framework, the main provisions of which have enjoyed constitutional protection since 1975, in recognition of the fundamental importance of this sector to the country, and confirming that the shipping sector constitutes a national asset that is non-negotiable and beyond particular governmental orientations. More specifically, despite the immediate response of the shipping community to contribute exceptionally to Greek fiscal revenues, leading to the successful completion and signing of a Memorandum with the Greek Prime Minister, providing voluntarily for the doubling of shipping taxation for a period of three years, a law was introduced, containing additional tax collection measures. This represents a constitutional deviation and seriously undermines the required confidence between the state and the shipping sector. Any State wishing to maintain a steady presence in global maritime affairs and reap the benefits, economic, political and strategic, must have a comprehensive, competitive and above all stable long term policy. During 2013 , the publication of important economic studies objectively demonstrates that shipping proves to be crucial to the Greek economy, contributing more than 7% to gross domestic product, providing thousands of jobs, and making substantial investment in other sectors of the economy. These studies also addressed the prospects for further benefits for the Greek economy. It is a privilege to participate in this great shipping achievement which is not accidental but the result of a long and steady maritime tradition, that has managed to preserve the entrepreneurial spirit and maritime expertise and pass them on from generation to generation. Our close ties with our country make shipping an integral part of our national identity. These ties should not be undermined nor loosened but shipping should be the driving