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Towards a greener guture: how shipping needs to adapt and evolve

Photo: Naftiliaki Greener Shipping Summit in Athens
Adaptability is the key to meeting the challenges currently facing shipping was a clear message delivered to the Greener Shipping Summit held in Athens last week.

Under the general title of ‘Where is shipping heading in the next decade?’ 30 industry experts offered a deep insight on key issues concerning shipping, with keynote speaker, John Platsidakis, Honorary Chairman, Intercargo. highlighting that over the years Greek shipowners have followed the evolution of technology and will continue to do so.

“Adaptability is the key word. We all observe fast enhancing technology affecting business and the day-to-day life of all citizens. In parallel, the protection of the environment is at the top of the agenda of society. Every sector of the economy needs to take this into account and certainly shipping needs to do so,” said Platsidakis

“In terms of the protection of the environment, I would say shipping is guilty until proven innocent. Shipping has received heavy criticism as a major pollutant. This is unfair. It transports 90% of world trade, and emits 2.3% of the world’s emissions,”

Platsidakis pointed out to the over 500 attendees attending the 14th Greener Shipping Summit organised by Naftiliaki/Newsfront under the auspices of Greek shipping's powerful Marine Technical Managers Association, Martecma.

During the day-long Summit five panels of discussion were held bringing together some 30 panellists who analysed and presented key topics focusing on the environment, regulations, business trends and the global economy. CEOs, senior officials, analysts and leading market participants provided valuable insight on fast changing topics faced by the shipping industry.

A main point of discussion in the conference is how shipping can tackle the uncertainty and prepare for challenging conditions. The issue of whether new technologies guarantee the sustainability of shipping was discussed as was navigating the maintenance challenges of two-stroke engines.  

Lefteris Koukoulopoulos, Regional Decarbonisation Specialist, DNV, said that “we need to collaborate between industries to secure the best solution for each industry.” A view mirrored by Fotis Dalmyras, CEO, Andriaki Shipping Co Ltd. “What needs to be done is to get the right collaboration either within the company or with external partners,” said Dalmyras.

Other discussions took place focused on ‘How can a ship operator navigate the complex regulations sea?’ Moderated by Stamatis Fradelos, VP, Regulatory Affairs, ABS, the panel presented CII, EU ETS, FUEL-EU Maritime – Regulatory framework and challenges from verifiers aspect and IMO’s revised strategy and expected impact to industry including the midterm measures (MBMs).

Commercial / financial impact to operators from regional measures (EU ETS – Fuel EU) was addressed as was the changing regulatory landscape as a catalyst for technological advancement in shipping and designing for the future while learning from the past was discussed. Furthermore, Greece’s global position was examined in a discussion about how Greece will maintain its leading position in global shipping.

Moderated by Panos Kourkountis, Chairman of  MARTECMA the final session of the day was devoted to Greek shipping and how Greece will maintain its leading position in global shipping.