David Glass

David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

An Australian with over 40 years experience as a journalist and foreign corrrespondent specialising in political and economic issues, David has lived in Greece for over 30 years and was editor of English language publications for Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini in the 1970s before moving into the Akti Miaouli and reporting on Greek and international shipping.

Managing editor of Naftiliaki Greek Shipping Review and Newsfront Greek Shipping Intelligence, David has been Greek editor for Seatrade for over 25 years.

Union of Greek Shipowners leader, Theodore Veniamis is confident, “2018 looks like being a year in which all shipping sectors will be able to return to growth and profitability”.

With greater numbers of ships calling in Chinese ports daily, it is perhaps not surprising more ships are being inspected and more and more ships are being detained.

Led by Greek owners, the global fleet continued to grow in 2017, albeit at a slower rate than for most of the last decade.

 The shipping of cement is becoming more efficient and more realistic led by developments in the Asia market where the demand has not only heavy, but cargoes are being lifted in a new wave of ships.

Cosco has unveiled a $620m plan to develop Greece's largest port Piraeus, with the highlight being the creation of the biggest shipyard facility in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Difficulties in obtaining finance for shipping projects continue, though they appear to have done little to slow the expansion of many leading Greek shipowners who continue to grow while reducing the age of their fleets.

Consolidation in the Greek shipowning community and the growth of its fleet in carrying capacity terms is accelerating at its fastest pace in two decades.

The appetite for newbuildings is evident as we move into 2018, with Greek owners continuing to building on an impressive $4.7bn investment in projects in 2017.

Greek shipping, an extrovert activity by definition, has traditionally been a key driving force of the Greek economy, despite the challenges it has faced at both the international and the national level with shipping receipts essential for covering a large part of the country’s external financing needs, but the imposition of capital controls have had a major impact on shipping' contribution to the country's national coffers.

Within days of the launch of  2018, China Cosco Shipping launched a number of new projects to upgrade Piraeus to further strengthen the Greek port as Asia’s gateway to Eastern and Central Europe.

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