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Greek shipowners call for national registry to be strengthened

Photo: UGS Melina_Travlou_UGS.JPG
Melina Travlou, President of UGS
The strengthening of the national registry and protecting the seafaring profession are the highest priorities of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS).

UGS President, Melina Travlos insists Greece needs a strong national registry as the flag represents the largest shipping power in the international fora and should not only maintain, but should strengthen, its dynamics. 

To achieve this more steps need to be taken to encourage the entry of new modern ships on the national register. In the first two months of 2023, seven oceangoing ships raised the Greek flag, three bulk cargo ships, two tankers and three LNG carriers. In the same period of 2022, eight ships raised the Greek flag. 

However, for the Greek registry to be strengthened, Travlos said it should be further modernised and become even more competitive. “The UGS‘s proposals are well-known, documented and realistic. There is no more time to waste. And we are working in this direction,” emphasised Travlos when addressing the recent UGS AGM.

She said strengthening the registry is inextricably linked to the preservation of the Greek maritime tradition. “It is our responsibility to work together, the maritime community and the state, united, in this direction. Only with one voice will we preserve and promote our nation’s seafaring to reverse its declining course, at least quantitatively. A national action plan is needed and not individual, piecemeal initiatives, which create confusion and aggravation of the issue,” said Travlos. 

“The strength of Greek shipping and its competitive advantage are its people on our ships and in its companies,” she said calling for a sufficiently trained and well-qualified human resource.  

Travlos said immediate interventions are needed, before the situation becomes irreversible. “It is our responsibility, therefore, to work together, the maritime community and the state, united, in the direction of preserving and promoting our nation’s seafaring, to reverse the declining course it records, at least quantitatively. 

“A national action plan is needed,” according to Travlos and she called on all involved “to speak to our children in their language. To understand the strategic advantage of our shipping, as a professional branch, to understand the prospects and quality characteristics of the maritime profession” 

In this context, UGS is the first to give the stamp of its intentions regarding the attraction of young people in the shipping industry with a symbolic but also substantial initiative of its own.

This year, the UGS is granting 100 scholarships to young men and women for studies in Greece and abroad, in post-doctoral level postgraduate programs, full one-year or two-year studies, through Syn-Enosis’ the UGS’ non-profit social contribution arm.