The Greek shipping community was quick to react as outer regions of Athens was ravished by wildfires this week. Indeed, as the death toll climbed to over 80 it could have been much higher if the country's ferry sector had not rushed to rescue hundreds of people driven into rough seas by the massive forest fires raging behind them.
Greek shipowner Peter Livanos took aim at asset based owners who do not run their own vessels in LNG and other shipping sectors as “irresponsible” at an ABS panel on the future of LNG shipping.
Top Greek shipowners are optimistic about the charter rate outlook for liquefied natural gas (LNG), although expressed concerns over the tender process and shorter periods adopted by some charterers.
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association annual member survey has demonstrated improving sentiment amongst the country’s owners as they anticipate a modest 3% rise in revenue this year. This follows sharp dips in 2016 and 2017 – down 19% and 5% respectively – but reflects growing optimism, notably among the Association’s deepsea members.
Greek owners may have the world’s largest shipping fleet but they have rather less to be proud of on the environmental front based on a survey by Transport & Environment (T&E), which has branded the attitude of Europe's leading shipping nations towards fighting climate change as negative.
Led by Greek owners, the global fleet continued to grow in 2017, albeit at a slower rate than for most of the last decade.
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.
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.
With the shipping industry set for $114bn in capital expenditure for newbuildings next year alone finding funding will be a major issue for the industry according to analyst Crucial Perspective.